Merde Meaning: What Does the Slang Term “Merde” Mean?

Last Updated on March 31, 2023

What does Merde mean? Speaking in popular slang terms is quite often an acceptable form of communication in most cultures. One of the slang terms you might hear from time to time is the word “merde.” This article will define the meaning of this term and provide you information on its origin.

You will also find other meanings of the word if any are available and sample conversations so you can see how this slang term is used in communication. Finally, you will see some other ways to say this term with words that convey the same meaning.

Merde Meaning

What Does Merde Mean?

The slang term “merde” means crap or sh*t.

Origin of Merde

This term originated from the French language. It is, in fact, not truly a slang word at all. It is simply a translation of another language into English. The first use of this phrase is recorded sometime in the 19th century and is associated with the ballet. During this time, automobiles were not invented so people came to shows in horse-drawn carriages instead. When the theatre was packed and a full house was present, it was only logical to conclude that there was a lot of horse poop outside. Therefore, “merde” became a way for the ballet dancers in Paris, France to wish each other well before the packed audience in the theatre.

Other Meanings

In the sense of the ballet and theatre performances, it took on the meaning of “good luck.” It was considered bad luck to wish someone good luck and the common wishes of “break a leg” were not appropriate for a dancer since their legs are required to be in working condition to dance. Therefore, “merde” came to use as a means to say its a packed audience as you can tell from all the horse poop outside and I hope they enjoy your performance.

Example Conversations

A conversation between two friends at school:

  • Friend 1: Merde! I forgot to do my homework last night!
  • Friend 2: Well. it was easy. I can help you finish at lunch before we go to Mr. Brown’s class.
  • Friend 1: Awesome! Thank you so much!

A conversation between a husband and wife:

  • Wife: Merde!
  • Husband: What did you say?
  • Wife: I said merde!
  • Husband: What on earth does that mean?
  • Wife: It means s…h….i…t
  • Husband: (laughing) Why didn’t you just say that?
  • Wife: I didn’t want the little one to hear me curse!

Alternatives to “Merde”

Some alternative ways to say what we deem the slang term “merde” include:

  • crap
  • sh*t
  • poop

Merde Meaning Infographic


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