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Recently I read a question on how to say I like you in French. None of these answers provided the expression 'je te kiffe', although I'm quite sure it is used very often. Is there a different context for this expression, or is it even out of date? What is its real meaning?

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4 Answers 4

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“Kiffer” is a derivative of “kif”, which comes from the arab meaning “hashish” (or at least something related to hemp, I’m a bit short on serious references), figuratively “sensation of pleasure (due to hasish)”. It usually means to appreciate, to enjoy, to like. I’m not sure it still in use nowadays, but it was enough in the nineties to warrant its apparition in Le Robert 1, 1993 edition.

In Walloon secondary schools some fifteen to twelve years ago, however, the verb more usual meaning was simply “to smoke weed”.

In any case, I’ve only encountered it in familiar register.

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Sir, that's a very slang term (whatever that actually means) for saying "I appreciate you a lot".

Often used by younger people like teenagers.

Although, this suffers from a lot of prejudices (thus I feel I really shouldn't say more. I don't want to tell prejudices about anyone).

This is often used to imitate / picture / caricature teenagers living in HLMs (wich they can refer to the "téci", verlan of "cité" - look at wikipedia, or "banlieue", the "suburb") who have their own style (which I cannot describe here shortly as easily), sometimes called "caillera" (verlan of "racaille", translated to "scum" by Google trad) (though that word is, IMO, a bit too strong).

In particular, we often see/hear this kind of sentence: « Hé mademoiselle, j'te kiffe ! Tu me files ton 06 ? » which has many, many variants.

I think though it was more often (and commonly) used in the 80s or 90s in general (I mean just the verb "kiffer" in general, like for instance: « J'kiffe grave ce que tu fais »)

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What does "Tu me files ton 06" mean? Is it something like "Give me your mobile number"? –  fiscblog Aug 31 '13 at 8:13
    
@fiscblog: Mobiles phones numbers in France starts with 06 (and 07 occasionally), see fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/… for details. –  BatchyX Aug 31 '13 at 9:28
    
About racaille : if you find scum too strong for this use, maybe riffraff ? thug (with a badass undermeaning) ? –  Romain VALERI Sep 1 '13 at 11:45
    
@fiscblog And they start with 04 in Belgium but I never heard « Tu me files ton 04 ? ». –  JeromeJ Sep 1 '13 at 15:24

I wouldn't advise you to use "je te kiffe", unless you want to say it to a friend who said it to you. When young people say "je te kiffe", it can mean "I like you", either in terms of friendship or slight dating interest.

But it can also mean "I like your personality" or "I like your body", the latter being highly improper when said to a stranger. It's like a cheap "you're nice" or "you're pretty".

You can "kiffe" anything - "je kiffe cette chanson" (I like this song"), "je kiffe ta veste" ("I like your jacket") - but it's teenspeak, and not considered a proper French word.

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“Kiffer” means "to like" but it's slang, and it's totally ghetto <= see what I did there? It's about the same level of colloquialism…

I would recommend you just don't use it. It's not rude per say, but it's rather unsophisticated and will sound really weird coming from a foreigner.

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