In the francique mosellan dialect I am speaking, there's a semi-mocking, yet not really offensive in the least, and perhaps even friendly, expression "Voulez-vous die Gruweschuh ?" — "Non, merci, mir reiche die !", used to poke fun at the French, or the French language.

I have a two-part question about that:

  • Is this expression actually known outside of la Sarre — I'm thinking mostly Lorraine, Champagne, Ardenne, and Alsace here — or is it something the German speakers keep to themselves?
  • And is there an equivalent, or similar, expression in said regions to poke fun right back at the Germans across the border? Failing that, is there a more universal expression or saying, common to all of France, to poke fun at Germans or the German language?
  • 2
    A French joke about German: "Was ist das? Petite fenêtre!"
    – Ludovic C.
    Dec 21, 2013 at 15:00
  • Que-ce que c'est que le bigwig ? Je ne parle que de perruques petites ! Or something. (Edit: and I just made over 9000 typos in that short string alone.)
    – RegDwight
    Dec 21, 2013 at 15:15
  • Il reste en France, quelques relents de la 2eme guerre mondiale qui font encore surface dans les blagues des français sur les allemands. Faire la recherche sur google "blagues sur les allemands".
    – None
    Dec 21, 2013 at 15:32
  • 3
    Une expression qu'on entend encore parfois (peut-être pas chez les plus jeunes) et qui se veut une moquerie à la fois de la langue allemande et qui insinue qu'il faut se méfier des allemands "Achtung, bicyclette". Origine expliquée ici.// Although much dated, we still sometimes hear "Achtung, bicyclette" which can be felt as making fun of the German language and as a hint that one shouldn't trust the Germans. Origin here.
    – None
    Dec 21, 2013 at 15:41
  • 1
    By the way, while we're at it: there's also another expression, "œuf, œuf, que lac je ?", a (nonsense, purposefully wrong) word-for-word translation of the German — or rather, Moselle Franconian — "Eiei, was sehe ich?" ("Oh my, what am I seeing/looking at?"), but I am rather confident in saying no Saarländer under 60 has ever so much as heard of it. I, for one, only really ever heard it from my German stepfather.
    – RegDwight
    Dec 21, 2013 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


Oops, I first answered in French, I didn't notice you asked in English. What I wrote below, in a nutshell, is that as far as I know, francique mosellan was (and to some extent still is) spoken in the region but it has become extremely rare. So if this expression exists at all it wouldn't be widely understood and certainly isn't a part of the local French dialect.

Selon mes lectures, le francique mosellan et le francique luxembourgeois étaient (et sont encore dans une certaine mesure) parlé en France mais ayant vécu de nombreuses années en Lorraine, je n'ai jamais entendu le moindre mot dans cette langue (alors que j'ai déjà entendu de l'alsacien – donc un dialecte alémanique – en Alsace). Aucun de mes amis natifs de la région ne le parlent, beaucoup ignorent même son existence.

Tout ça pour dire que si l'expression existe, elle sera de toute façon limitée à un cercle extrêmement limité de locuteurs et ne peut pas être considérée comme une part du français régional.

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