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I’ve seen a few ways (casser quelqu’un, dire des saloperies sur quelqu’un) but what are the more common ones?

It means to say bad things about someone when they’re not around.

Ex. “He was talking shit about me but I had to hear it from someone else.”

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    “Best” isn't an objective criterion. If you want to know what are common ways to express something, please disambiguate by providing contexts and by explaining what is to be conveyed by this phrase. – Stéphane Gimenez Jun 13 at 7:56
  • i edited it! thank you for the input! – jacoballens Jun 13 at 8:14
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Using "talk shit" Urban Dictionary definitions

1.) To say something insulting or rude about another person, either to their face or behind their back.

2.) To make a statement that is exaggerated or flat-out untrue

  • Raconter des conneries

3.) To say something negative behind someone's back that you wouldn't say to their face.

Your sentence "He was talking shit about me but I had to hear it from someone else" might then be translated with:

Il racontait un tas de conneries sur moi mais il a fallu que je l'apprenne de quelqu'un d'autre.

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    Il y a "mal parlé" aussi avec le sens de "dire des choses méchantes, négatives sur qqn", donc la définition 1). Ex: "Elle était à la soirée et elle a trop mal parlé sur toi" ou "Parle pas mal de ma mère !!" C'est celui que je connais qui est le plus proche de talk shit (en "language des jeunes" en tout cas) – Teleporting Goat Jun 13 at 8:58
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    To stress the idea of spreading bad things, you can also use the verb balancer: il a balancé des saloperies sur mon dos. – Greg Jun 13 at 9:02
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I think Dire de la merde, Dire des conneries is more apropriate. It doesn't necessarily relate to someone.

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    "talking shit" is saving bad thing about amoething or someone. For something you're right. For someone it can be also "insulter", "dire du mal"... – Baptiste Gavalda Jun 13 at 6:55
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    If you want to talk about someone, you say "Why do you talk shit about me ?", for example. Talk shit alone doesn't necessarily relate to someone, i think :). – shaax Jun 13 at 7:00
  • @shaax Talking shit is always about someone, it's not used alone. Maybe you're thinking of "shooting the shit", which is an idiom for small talk. – Barmar Jun 13 at 19:13
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    @Barmar That's not what Urban or Wiktionary say. – suiiurisesse Jun 13 at 20:16

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