The word 'hot' in English is usually perceived as:

an adjective that conveys the degree of heat possessed by an object.

A French translation for 'hot' in this context would be 'chaud'.

However, it has become increasingly common to call a person 'hot' which conveys the meaning that that person is extremely physically attractive. This probably stems from the meaning that 'hot' also refers to:

filled with passionate excitement, anger, or other strong emotion.

Hence anything that can induce such a feeling is also termed as 'hot'.

My question is: Is there any French equivalent of such a notion. For example, how would I say "Damn, she looks so hot, I want to take her home with me tonight".

Of course in English, various other phrases have also sprung up such as 'sizzling' and 'smoking' hot. I wonder how French speakers convey such notions.

  • 7
    A word of warning: “elle est chaude” is a false friend, it would usually be interpreted as “she's horny”. Dec 10, 2014 at 19:21
  • Worth pointing the difference between "Elle est chaude" and "Elle a chaud".
    – Roger V.
    Jun 29, 2022 at 18:36

6 Answers 6


"Bandante", "Baisable" are disrepectfull for women. You can't (and shoudln't) say it to her face without taking a slap. It's related to fuck (baisable = fuckable).

The slang the most use by my generation (18-30 yo) is "Bonne". It still keep a bit of disrespect but you can use it among friends without being the redneck of the group. "Bonne" comes from "bonne à baiser" (good to fuck) but it has lost more and more its sexual connotation.

If you want to say to a girl she's hot, you can say sexy.

To summarize:

  • Bonne : among friends or with a girl you know well.
  • Sexy: without any disrepect
  • 2
    If you're British, 'bonne' is good equivalent to 'fit', so it does sound a bit chavvy and Vicky Pollard-y if spoken out loud in public but ok among friends.
    – user5628
    Dec 10, 2014 at 14:07
  • 2
    careful though: 'bonne femme' as a frozen expression means matron-ish woman or cackling woman, 'femme bonne' means 'fit woman'. Also: french.stackexchange.com/questions/8085/…
    – user5628
    Dec 10, 2014 at 15:06
  • Note that, in a typically sexist way, "bonne" only apply to female people; no one says that "un mec est bon" (it won't be understood at all). "sexy" would work for both genders, "baisable" could also work. For "bandante", you could conceivably say "bandant" to apply to a male person but it carries an obvious assumption that the speaker is male.
    – a3nm
    Aug 26, 2019 at 22:01

The best equivalent I find is "canon" because it is not especially sexual and is of the same 'language politeness level'.

I mean that it's not particularly slang but you wouldn't hear it in any formal context.

It is an adjective :

Scarlett Johansson est canon.

Or a noun, by the way Smoking hot could be :

Keira Knightley est un super canon.

I guess it comes from the expression "canons de beauté" which mean the reference criteria (to decide what is beautiful) commonly and currently accepted.

My explanation aren't very clear but the equivalent of "hot" is definitely "canon".

  • 1
    I wouldn't say that "canon" is an equivalent of "hot" -- it's very much dated.
    – a3nm
    Aug 26, 2019 at 22:02

It's probably as dated as I am, but B. Bardot was "une bombe."

  • Here are a couple of non-heat-related compliments suitable for flirting: “[plutôt] pas mal” and “[très] bien faite.” “T’es [plutôt] pas mal, toi [aussi].*”... ”T’es [très] bien faite, toi [aussi].*” **(add « aussi » if you’re returning a similar compliment) (and it would be "bien fait" if your are flirting with a guy)
    – Papa Poule
    Dec 9, 2014 at 14:57
  • Meilleur équivalent, bien que ce ne soit pas un adjectif. Canon est ringard, Bonne reste péjoratif.
    – XouDo
    Feb 11, 2022 at 9:55

Canon comes to mind, although probably more used by 30+ y/o generations than younger people.

Cette fille / ce mec est carrément canon

In "today's" language, hot would be somewhere between charmant/e/ (cute-ish, not rude but may convey sexual / flirty allusion) and bonne (used for women only, more disrespectful, sexist). I can't think of a strict equivalent.


I am here assuming that the goal is to properly address a woman. If not, then all the slang words previously proposed are fine (if used among friends only), bonne being the more common. Otherwise, I concur that canon might be the closest translation although it is clearly outdated. Using the word sexy is probably a bit more modern. But in truth we Frenchmen do not have (to my knowledge) this particular concept available on our language. Hope I've been useful.


The nearest I can think of is bandant(e):

Elle est si bandante que je la mettrais bien dans mon lit ce soir.

No direct relationship to heat in bandante, but a direct reference to the male organ in erection.

Baisable is another possibility (from baiser ("fuck") ). But the word does not convey such a strong urge as bandante.

Note that both words are very informal, probably more than "hot" because of their direct sexual significance.

  • Is there any such overused French expression that the French use while flirting? Dec 9, 2014 at 8:05
  • bandant(e) is adult language
    – smci
    Dec 10, 2014 at 13:48
  • I've only ever seen teenagers & movie characters use "bandante", though. (Not so adult after all :P) Dec 17, 2014 at 17:38

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