I have recently started playing a board game (A Few Acres of Snow) that pits the British against the French in 18th century New England.

I know how to mock others in general, but in order that trash-talk would be appropriate for the setting, I'd like to know: What are insults/taunts specifically targeting the French, ideally ones that were in use in the 18th century?

Note that I'm looking for English words to mock the French.

French expressions to mock the English can be found on french.stackexchange.com.

  • 2
    I think, unfortunately, this is probably off-topic for English.se as appropriate period insults would likely be in French. You might take a look at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_few_acres_of_snow for inspiration, as it includes translated excerpts of some of Voltaire's writing from this time, related to Canada/New France where your game takes place (Voltaire was not a big fan of these acres of snow himself).
    – aedia λ
    Oct 3, 2011 at 17:28
  • 5
    I think OP is looking for 18th-century English insults for French people, no?
    – user13141
    Oct 3, 2011 at 17:41
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    "I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries." (Sorry, I couldn't resist. That was a taunt that a French soldier levied against Sir Galahad in Monty Python and the Holy Grail so it may not be quite what you are looking for.)
    – jimreed
    Oct 3, 2011 at 17:42
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    @aediaλ: Yes, English words to mock the opponent (like "frog") was what I was looking for. Would that make the question on-topic?
    – Jonas
    Oct 3, 2011 at 21:42
  • 1
    The Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell (set during the Napoleonic wars) often include "Crapaud" (French for "Toad") as an English insult against the French.
    – user11752
    Oct 27, 2011 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


How about calling them frogs?

  • 3
    Could you give a source which confirms that this would be an 18th century insult which could feasibly be directed from the British to the French?
    – Daniel
    Oct 3, 2011 at 17:34
  • 3
    – Hugo
    Oct 3, 2011 at 19:14
  • @Jen,@Hugo: thanks for the suggestion and the source (which says that "frogs" became used especially for the French in the 18th century).
    – Jonas
    Oct 3, 2011 at 19:31
  • I've also heard the expression Cheese-eating surrender monkeys. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheese-eating_surrender_monkeys
    – Brad
    Apr 28, 2012 at 11:56
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    @Brad - Putting on my history.SE hat, that would be a bit anachronistic. In the 18th century the French military position in Europe was roughly equivalent to Germany's in the early 20th Century. To put it bluntly, they were badasses.
    – T.E.D.
    Aug 3, 2012 at 14:17

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