Défonce Moi

In a recent ad for gay porn flicks, the French film Défonce Moi (the front cover of the DVD can be viewed on AZBlogX, here), focused on anal sex (fucking, fisting, dildos), with the verb défoncer ‘fuck’ in the title. Which caused me to reflect on verbs of fucking in French.

Point 1. The old verb foutre, which used to be the routine sexual vulgarity, is no longer used for reference to intercourse, though it survives in some fixed expressions, notably va te faire foutre! ‘fuck off!’.

Point 2. The new routine vulgarity is the verb baiser, as in the title of a controversial French film:

Baise-moi (Fuck Me) is a 2000 French thriller film written and co-directed by Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trinh Thi and starring Karen Lancaume and Raffaëla Anderson. It is based on the homonymous novel by Despentes, first published in 1999. The film received intense media coverage because of its graphic mix of violence and explicit sex scenes.

Baiser is a French verb meaning “to fuck”; it also means “a kiss” when used as a noun (un baiser). Baise-moi would be translated as “Fuck me”. The film has also been screened in some markets as “Rape me”, but this translation … was rejected by the directors in a 2002 interview. (Wikipedia link)

Point 3. There are alternatives to baiser. There’s the indirect, rather euphemistic prendre ‘take’, as in Prends-moi! Prendre is muted enough that it can be used in the name of a perfume; Prends-Moi (billed as “the world’s first weight, loss fragrance”, according to a 2012 NY Daily News story) has been quite popular in the UK.

For anal intercourse, there’s the rather technical verb sodomiser, parallel to English sodomize. And the vulgar enculer (involving the noun cul ‘ass’) ‘to butt-fuck’, sometimes translated as bugger.

[Digression on the English word bugger, which has an interesting history. From NOAD2:

ORIGIN Middle English (originally denoting a heretic, specifically an Albigensian): from Middle Dutch, from Old French bougre, originally in the sense ‘heretic,’ from medieval Latin Bulgarus ‘Bulgarian,’ particularly one belonging to the Orthodox Church and therefore regarded as a heretic by the Roman Church. The sense ‘sodomite’ (16th cent.) arose from an association of heresy with forbidden sexual practices; its use as a general insult dates from the early 18th cent. ]

Point 4. Now we come to défoncer, which seems to be usable for both vaginal and anal intercourse. This is a transitive verb with literal meanings

to stave in (cask, boat), to smash in, bash in (box, door, etc.), to knock down (wall, etc.) [from Harrap’s]

and then with an extension to sex. As for the relationship between défoncer and baiser, net sources mostly agree that they are semantically equivalent, but that défoncer is more vulgar, more powerful, than baiser.

Both défoncer and baiser can be used with human objects, without stipulating the body-part that is penetrated, as in défonce-moi and baise-moi. Or the body-part can be made explicit (giving rough equivalents to English fuck me in the ass! and the like):

défonce-moi / baise-moi   le cul / l’anus  for anal intercourse

défonce-moi / baise-moi   le con / la chatte  (with con ‘cunt’ and chatte ‘pussy’) for vaginal intercourse, or (with the anus analogized to the vagina) for man-man anal intercourse

5 Responses to “Défonce Moi”

  1. gary Says:

    The Bulgarian heresy has nothing to do with the Orthodox church. here’s an accurate description of how the word bugger came to be:
    http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/heresies.html
    “The basic ideas of this Bulgarian heresy spread rapidly west, through northern Italy to Southern France. There, the believers called themselves Cathars, from the Greek word meaning pure. Others called them Albigensians, after the town of Albi, or Bougres, for Bulgarians. This last name is the source of the word bugger, due to accusations of sodomy.”

  2. Bob Richmond Says:

    Then how do you say “kiss” in French when that’s actually what you mean?

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