A hoon is a:

[in Australia and New Zealand] person who deliberately drives a vehicle in a reckless or dangerous manner, generally in order to provoke a reaction from onlookers.

What's the translation of “hoon" in French?

  • 1
    Ce phénomène est moins répandu en France, d'où la difficulté de traduction (!)
    – A.G.
    Jun 2, 2021 at 9:05
  • 1
    @A.G. There is no evidence this behavior is more common in AUS / NZ or not. In any case, there are certainly places in France where it is quite common, especially suburban ones.
    – jlliagre
    Jun 2, 2021 at 13:18
  • Great word, Can we first "translate it" into BrE or AmE or CAN E? Faut chercher dans: Tout l'argot des banlieues (Editions de l'opportun, 736 p., 22,90 euros),
    – Lambie
    Jun 2, 2021 at 15:43

3 Answers 3


That can be a chauffard or an amateur de rodéos urbains.

As vc74 stated, there is also a emerging idiom describing this behavior, although not limited to a driving context, kéké, possibly from the provençal càcou / quècou and their first variant kèk/cake, all still used in south-eastern France to mean frimeur / fanfaron. It's sometimes written kakou too.

A couple of examples:

Chauffard doesn't necessarily imply "to show off" so we can also say un chauffard qui se la pète / ...qui fait le malin.

There is also the word un m'as-tu-vu (thanks @Laurent S.) that also means a show off leading to a possible un chauffard m'as-tu-vu.

  • 1
    @vc In Marseille, that would be more faire le càcou or faire le cake.
    – jlliagre
    May 31, 2021 at 8:45
  • 2
    Le chauffard est un conducteur dangereux qui met en danger la sécurité d'autrui, le plus souvent par la vitesse ou le non-respect des règles de circulation, mais il n'y a pas la connotation d'attirer l'attention à soi.
    – A.G.
    Jun 2, 2021 at 9:03
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    @A.G. Oui, j'ai proposé chauffard qui correspond à deliberately drives a vehicle in a reckless or dangerous manner. Qu'un chauffard le soit pour attirer l'attention ou pas est plus une question de psychologie que de linguistique, mais de toute façon, la question n'impose pas ce lien (generally, pas always).
    – jlliagre
    Jun 2, 2021 at 10:59
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    @némésie-t-île Oui, j'aime bien ton vroum vroum. Faire le mariole et associer un qualificatif à chauffard m'a inspiré deux autres propositions.
    – jlliagre
    Jun 3, 2021 at 8:46
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    Not sure if this is a belgicism, but we also have "faire le m'as-tu-vu". There's even a famous public place in Knokke called "Place m'as-tu-vu" (and even though it's not the official name, you can even find it when searching in Google Maps... But I'll upvote this answer for "faire le kéké", which I use frequently, being understood by people from my age (in the 40's), less by people from older generations
    – Laurent S.
    Jul 26, 2021 at 7:20

I am a native from South East France. A kéké or cacou has nothing to do with chauffard or driving in general. It's used to design a male show-off, someone who will do everything to impress those around him, especially girls. A kéké often tries to pass off for a bad guy just to be seen as as cool and virile.

  • OK, thanks for the rectification
    – vc 74
    May 31, 2021 at 16:08
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    I agree càcou has initially nothing to do with driving but that doesn't prevent someone to faire le càcou avec son véhicule which can match "hoon".
    – jlliagre
    May 31, 2021 at 16:23
  • Sure, but the question was, what is a translation of "hoon". Not what word that means "show-off" could be used along with "car" to describe a "hoon".
    – Jonathan
    Jun 1, 2021 at 18:37
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    Indeed, but the question is not either "What is not a translation of hoon". It would have been better for you to post your answer as a comment on my answer, or better, as a comment on the now deleted vc74 comment...
    – jlliagre
    Jun 2, 2021 at 11:33
  • @Jiliagre, indeed you're right.
    – Jonathan
    Jun 8, 2021 at 13:00

Je ne vois pas de traduction directe pour un comportement peu répandu en France. Je traduirais par une périphrase du genre

  • Avec sa voiture, il fait le mariole pour épater la galerie
  • Un fou du volant (expression un peu datée)

San-Antonio ou Audiard auraient certainement fait mieux :)

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