I would like to know if French can offer a similar portmanteau formation as a translation for this word, which would preserve its spirit from the original language.

So, I am not interested in any paraphrases such as amour fraternel, which are too easy to think of and even come up with as reasonable French alternatives to this term.

What I am interested in is whether French has the linguistic means to form a similar formation that would preserve the flavor of the original word.

  • I'm not a native speaker, but in my experience French is likely to borrow the word even if it has the linguistic resources. To give a shot at coining one, though, perhaps romamitié ? :) For what people actually say we'll have to wait for more of an expert than myself to come by.
    – Luke Sawczak
    Jul 2, 2017 at 13:46
  • @LukeSawczak Romamitié seems to be a very good alternative to bromance, indeed. Jul 2, 2017 at 13:56
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    French has been using the French word bromance for quite some time now. Is your question specifically about *bromance, for which now there's little probability of a new word coming up, or on the ability of French in creating mots-valises. Of course French can create a lot of those ! A few examples.
    – None
    Jul 2, 2017 at 14:05
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    @Lambie I don't judge words in moral or aesthetic terms. Words are just words, and if a word exists, so does one's right to make any inquires into it as one sees fit. Jul 2, 2017 at 16:03
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    Pour info le terme recommandé par le dictionnaire terminologique (Québec) est "amitié virile". Ce n'est pas un mot-valise mais c'est une bonne traduction.
    – qoba
    Jul 5, 2017 at 15:29

1 Answer 1


French has been using the word bromance for quite some time now, just borrowed it from English.
An article about the word La bromance: un léger parfum d'homophobie by a French journalist shows it is mainly associate to Anglos Saxon culture. So doe this other one: La bromance, qu’est-ce que c’est ? by a French writer.

Although it is used by journalists:

On nage en pleine bromance. Ce vendredi matin, Emmanuel Macron et Justin Trudeau se sont rencontrés pour la toute première fois dans un décor de rêve en Sicile. (20 minutes, 26/05/2017)

it hasn't reached a lot of French dictionaries, I only found one occurrence in the Cordial online dictionary:

Définition de bromance
nom féminin singulier
Amitié forte entre deux hommes, sans composante sexuelle.

Bilingual dictionaries do not have it yet except Wordreference that translates it as amitié virile.

Not that French does not have portmanteau words. The Wikipedia entry for mot-valise tells us that:

Le mot-valise, appelé techniquement amalgame lexical, est connu depuis le XVIe siècle (Rabelais a par exemple créé le mot « sorbonnagre » en amalgamant « sorbonne » et « onagre »). De nombreux mots-valise sont entrés dans le langage courant, mais il est courant d'en créer de nouveaux par jeu (amalgames fantaisistes).

We can find lots of articles on the internet about mots-valises including that one, on the Cabinet des curiosités, often quoted on French Language.
Teachers like to have pupils work on them whether in primary school1, or secondary school2

If I had to create a mot-valise for "bromance", framitié would come spontaneously to my mind.

1. For example: http://blog-du-petitvictor.over-blog.com/article-4640643.html
2. For example: http://col21-albertcamus.ac-dijon.fr/spip.php?article324

Edit for update

Running an ngram in 2001 shows an increase in the use of the word "bromance" in French. enter image description here

  • Plutôt framance, non ? (Parce que personellement, je traduirais framitié par brotherhood ou briendship)
    – Mitra
    Jul 6, 2017 at 12:29

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