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20 Ways to Say I Don’t Care in French

20 Ways to Say I Don’t Care in French

The French language is full of all kinds of French expressions to express feelings. And disinterest is no exception to the rule. Whether you’re looking for a more distinguished or more formal way to say I don’t care in French, discover 20 expressions used in everyday life by the French.

These expressions range from centuries-old phrases to the latest trendy abbreviations for young people. Let’s start this list of I don’t care in French

1 – Je m’en fous (colloquial)

“Je m’en fous” is the most common way to say “I don’t care” in French. Although it is a direct translation of the English expression, “je m’en fous” is still used in a more colloquial way than in English. In a professional or more formal context, use one of the following more formal expressions.

Example:

Je m’en fous de ses états d’âme. J’ai passé l’âge pour me préoccuper de ces choses-là.

= I don’t care about his moods. I’m too old for caring about this stuff.

2 – Je m’en moque (formal)

In French, “se moquer de quelque chose” (= to make fun of something) can have many meanings. One of them is to be indifferent or not to care about something. Thus, “je m’en moque” is one of the most distinguished ways to say “je m’en fous” in French to someone. It can be used in both professional and formal settings.

Example:

C’est lui qui a menti à mon chef ? Et bien, je m’en moque

= Is he the one that lied to my boss? Well, I don’t care.

3 – Je m’en fiche (common)

Like “se moquer de quelque chose”, “se ficher de quelque chose” means to make no effort to do something. However, “je m’en fiche” is used in a more familiar context than “je m’en moque”. It is said with family, friends and in everyday life.

Example:

Je lui ai dit : “je m’en fiche” avant de partir en courant.

= I said to her : “I don’t care” before running away.

4 – Je m’en bats les couilles (vulgar)

Here we find the first type of metaphor in the collection of imaginary synonyms for the expression “s’en foutre”, those that are constructed from the verbal group “s’en battre” and a nominal group designating any part of the body. Among these, “je m’en bat les couilles” (literal translation I’m beating my balls)  is particularly used by young and old in a familiar context, mainly in the presence of friends. 

Example:

Je m’en bats les couilles de ce qu’il veut. Il n’a jamais été là pour nous.

= I don’t give a fuck about what he wants. He was never here for us.

5 – Ça me fait une belle jambe (common)

“It’s making me a beautiful leg” (= It’s making me a beautiful leg)  has its roots in the writings of 17th century poets. At the time, the expression “faire une belle jambe” was used to designate men who knew they were elegant. A few years later, the poet Antoine Furetière used “cela ne me rendra pas la jambe mieux faite” (=that will not make my leg better) to refer to a suit that did not fit. From there, the expression gradually became “ça me fait une belle jambe”.

Example:

Elle vient juste de se marier. Ça me fait une belle jambe.

She just got married. A fat lot of good that does to me.

6 – Je m’en contrefous (colloquial)

The expression “je m’en contrefous” is a direct derivative of I don’t care in French. The addition of the suffix “contre” (=against) emphasizes that one really doesn’t care. Although it is used in a colloquial way most of the time, it remains very little used by young people and is preferred by older French speakers.

Example:

Après tout ce qu’elle m’a fait subir, je m’en contrefous de ces sentiments.

= After everything she put me through, I really don’t care about her feelings.

7 – J’en ai rien à cirer (colloquial)

“J’en ai rien à cirer” is another French metaphor for being totally indifferent to something. The expression dates back to the 15th century and originates from the naval world. Indeed, having to wax the deck of the ship, the sailors said to their captain that they had nothing more to wax when they had finished their work. 

Example:

Elle m’a dit qu’elle n’en pouvait plus. Ma réponse ? J’en ai rien à cirer.

= She told me that she couldn’t take it anymore. My answer? I don’t give a damn.

8 – J’en ai rien à foutre (vulgar)

“J’en ai rien à foutre” is another of the many diverse French expressions that denote a total lack of interest in something. This one combines “je m’en fous” and “j’en ai rien à faire” to make it a more intense and vulgar expression than the latter. In English, the closest translation would probably be “I don’t give a damn” or “I don’t give a fuck”.

Example:

J’en ai rien à foutre de la hiérarchie.

= I don’t give a fuck about hierarchy.

9 – Je m’en tape (colloquial)

“Je m’en tape” is one of the many French expressions containing the verb “taper” such as “taper dans l’oeil” (to like someone), “taper sur le système” (to irritate) or “taper sur les doigts” (to reprimand). In our case, “taper” is used as a less vulgar synonym for “beat” or “fuck”. The expression is therefore used in a rather broad way in everyday situations.

Example:

Je m’en tape qu’il soit rentré de vacance.

I don’t care that he came back from holidays.

10 – Je m’en cogne (colloquial)

Like “s’en taper”, “s’en cogner” is used like “s’en battre” and “s’en foutre” to express total disinterest in someone or something. A little less common than “je m’en tape”, the term is still used by all segments of the population in France.

Example:

Je m’en cogne qu’elle ne m’ait jamais rappelé.

= I don’t care that she never called me back.

11 – Je m’en branle (vulgar)

“Je m’en branle” or “j’en ai rien à branler” are vulgar expressions used to emphasize the feeling of indifference towards something. Here, the term “branler” (=jerk off) refers directly to the action of masturbating, meaning that one prefers to masturbate rather than to show interest in someone or something. This expression is one of the most popular synonyms of “je m’en fous” in French.

Example:

Je m’en branle qu’il m’ait vu le faire.

= I don’t give a damn that he saw me do it.

12 – Je m’en bats les steaks (colloquial)

 Although very familiar, the expression “je m’en bat les steaks” is a less vulgar alternative to “je m’en bat les couilles”. Contrary to what one might think, the “steaks” in question do not refer to the piece of meat but to the lips of the vulva. Today, the expression is still mostly used by young people in a familiar context.

Example:

Je m’en bats les steaks de ce qu’il m’a dit hier.

= I couldn’t care less about what he told me yesterday.

13 – J’en ai rien à carrer (colloquial)

Like “je n’en ai rien à cirer” and “j’en ai rien à foutre””, “j’en ai rien à carrer” is a colloquial expression that indicates a profound disinterest in something or someone. The term “carrer” here refers to the action of ordering something (or making something square). It is relatively colloquial and is generally used in non-professional circumstances.

Example:

“- Tu as entendu ce qu’ils ont dit aux infos ?” “- J’en ai rien à carrer.”

= “- Did you hear what they said on the news ?” “- I don’t give a fuck.”

14 – Je m’en bats les reins (colloquial)

“Je m’en bats les reins” (= I’m beating my kidneys) is another of the less vulgar alternatives to “je m’en bats les couilles”. Unlike “je m’en bats les couilles” and “je m’en bats les steaks” which refer directly to the genitals, “je m’en bats les reins” appears to be the more polite alternative. However, the term is still quite familiar and should only be used in a specific social context such as with friends.

Example:

Je m’en bats les reins de son opinion.

= I don’t care about his opinion.

15 – Cela ne me fait ni chaud ni froid (common)

““Cela ne me fait ni chaud ni froid” (= It doesn’t make me hot or cold) is a figurative expression that refers to a total disinterest in the outcome of a choice or action. It personifies neutrality through the idea that to be “lukewarm” about a decision is to be completely neutral. This expression can be used in a personal or professional context.

Example:

Choisis-toi. Ça ne me fait ni chaud ni froid.

Choose. I don’t mind either way. 

16 – Je m’en tamponne le coquillard (colloquial)

The expression “je m’en tamponne le coquillard” (I don’t give a damn) comes from the Renaissance, and more particularly from the 16th century. It derives from the numerous expressions of “je m’en fous” referring to the human reproductive organ. Indeed, through the centuries, the term “coquillard” has taken the meaning of male or female sex and even “buttocks”. The expression is still little used by the French today. If you see it, there is a good chance that it is in writing.

Example:

Je m’en tamponne le coquillard qu’elle soit là ou non. 

= I don’t give a flying fuck whether she’s here or not.

17 – Cela ne m’importe peu (formal)

As it implies, the expression “cela ne m’importe peu” refers to having little interest in someone’s opinion or action. More distinguished than most of the phrases in this classification, the expression can be used in a professional or personal context.

Example:

Cela ne m’importe peu que tu aies raté ton examen.

= I do not care that you’ve missed your exam.

18 – Balek (colloquial, slang)

“Balek” is one of the many abbreviations synonymous with “je m’en fous” in French. This French slang is a short version of “bats les couilles”, the expression is more used by young people in a familiar context. Note that like most abbreviations in French ending with the “-k” sound, “balek” ends with a “k” and not a “c”.

Example:

Balek du futur, pense à aujourd’hui.

= Don’t think about the future, focus on today.

19 – Osef (colloquial, slang)

Originating from the internet language, “osef” has been used for a long time in writing, before it was introduced into the everyday language of young people in recent years. The acronym of “on s’en fout”, “osef” can also be used instead of “je m’en fous”. 

Example:

Osef. Je peux lui envoyer demain.

= Who cares? I can send it to him tomorrow.

20 – RAF (colloquial, slang)

Like “osef” and “balek”, “RAF” is another abbreviation from the internet language to mean lack of interest in something. It is an acronym for “rien à foutre” (=nothing to fuck with) and is inspired by the “RAS” (rien à signaler, nothing to report) used in the military. Be sure to use this term only in the presence of young people, otherwise, you may not be understood.

Example:

RAF de ce qu’ils pensent de moi. 

= I don’t give a shit what they think about me.

We hope that through this article, you have been able to expand your French vocabulary and you know more about I don’t care in French. If you want to satisfy your thirst for learning the French language even more, we have analyzed for you many other typical French expressions such as “Sacrebleu“, “Mon ami” or “Voilà“.

Translated into English by Sacha