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I know the French equivalent of "LOL" is "MDR", but what is the equivalent of "OMG"? Not as a surprise expression, but as an expression of frustration online. Is it "OMD" (Oh mon Dieu), or something else?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Not that I know of in "internet slang".

Older people would say (orally) "Oh, seigneur !", "Oh, sainte !" or variants (such as "Oh, mon dieu !").

On the internet, I've seen French people say "omg", "my god", "oh god", but never "oh mon dieu" or "OMD" literally.

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The answer from Gilles is actually better. Most naturally, in the same circumstances, people would use "Oh! Putain." in between friends or alone (as it is rude). And I also can see "Oh! La vache!" in a more neutral way. Phil's suggestions look very Québécois (French from Québec) and less French from France. – karlcow May 15 '14 at 0:13
I don't think so. OMG isn't translated in swears apart from France it seems. And the question was about OMG, which definitely does not translate to putain anywhere else but france. – Phil May 15 '14 at 14:12
As a Marseillais, I say "Oh bonne mère..." :) – 7hibault Jun 29 at 9:17
LOL is also widely used in french, without necessarily knowing what it means besides "It's funny/I'm laughing". Same thing for OMG, WTF, ... – Laurent S. Sep 21 at 12:02

This kind of slang can rarely be translated one-for-one. The literal translation would definitely not do: “(oh) mon dieu” is possible as an expression of surprise or shock, but I don't think “OMD” would be understood.

The closest equivalent I can think of is “putain”, which is a very generic swearword. It can mean “I'm surprised”, “I'm shocked”, “I'm impressed”, “That's too bad”, “That's bad”, and a number of other things. This is not a word that you'd use in polite company, and it's often spelled “P***” in online media. It's common on forums, at least. In SMS, it can be abbreviated as “put1” or “pt1”.

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Using putain here is already an excellent suggestion, but would Oh putain not be even closer to the english counterpart ? (and still very idiomatic) – Romain VALERI May 19 '14 at 1:07
@RomainVALERI I don't know, I don't think “oh putain” is an idiom the way “oh my God” is in “OMG”. I'd write just “putain”. – Gilles May 19 '14 at 1:15

I'm pretty sure that the OP wanted the online slang translation, and if so, answers in correct french with actual words would sound quite off-topic, if I may. If not, feel free to correct me, Jonathan.

The English omg is mostly used because it has taken as a meme. Most of these key expressions of internet slang have no French counterparts (wtf, someone ?) and are used as such. And even these which do have a translation that was used enough to keep up, like mdr for lol, are often less used than the English original.

It must be noted however that the younger the community, the more people tend to use the French acronyms/expressions (for slang use, I mean. So, no, my dear mother does not say « OMG LULZ dude kudos you win the interwebs » to her friends).

(Has something to do with English being the language of the web roots, and probably also with some American dream never willing to die, I guess... ;-))

It must be also noted that from time to time it can even be heard in France, said in English, with a more or less Frenchified pronouciation. I don't say it's widely used, but not rare enough to raise an eyebrow in most informal contexts.

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OMD ou une abréviation similaire n'existe pas à ma connaissance.

Pour exprimer la frustration, à peu près au même niveau de langage, on peut entendre "C'est pas possible / c'est pas vrai" ou simplement "Oh la la". Agrémenté souvent d'un mot familier.

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In fact, where an American would use a prude "Oh, my God", a French would say "Putain" (excuse my French). Let's say it is because we shall not misuse the name of God.

As this is short enough, we don't really need an acronym. Sometime, we write "Put1".

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oh mon dieu is the best one to use online

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This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post. – Toto May 28 '14 at 7:16

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