cup of tea
Guess what this idiom means

Pardon my French !

a) I’m sorry I’m drunk !

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

b) I can’t stop eating.

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

c) Sorry for swearing !

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

Excuse my French ! or Pardon my French ! is a common English language phrase ostensibly disguising profanity as French. The phrase is uttered in an attempt to excuse the user of profanity or curses in the presence of those offended by it under the pretense of the words being foreign.

French translation

pardonnez-moi l’expression, passez-moi l’expression, pardonnez mon langage

How NOT to translate : *pardonnez mon français


Examples in context

Pardon my French, says prim Kristin Scott Thomas

Kristin Scott Thomas revealed she was ‘repulsed’ watching the mobster mother she plays in a controversial new film.

‘I knew Crystal had a mouth on her — an American one at that — but I was repulsed watching her, which is the whole point,’ Kristin told me at a midnight beach-front after-party. ‘She’s an appalling woman involved in drug smuggling and murder. ‘
‘I’ve never before said the words that come out of her mouth, and I’ll never, ever say them again.’’

The Daily Mail, 23 May 2013


Pardon my Cantonese

Awfully odd to see the French getting their panties in a big bad bundle over gay marriage. Like watching a river otter work a crossword puzzle. In ink. Recently the entire country went completely bonkers with thousands taking to the streets to express concern over the level of free will leaking out of the same-sex end of their famously perforated hose of liberté, egalité and fraternité.

Have you ever heard somebody swear like a sailor, then ask you to pardon their Cantonese ? No, it’s "pardon my French" in honor of the nation that prides itself on riding jaded sophistication into new galactic orbits.’

Daily Times, Farmington, 14 June 2013


Everyday usage

Pardon my French, Madam ; I didn’t mean to offend.

That guy’s a real p----, if you’ll excuse my French.

Well, look who is laughing now. And if you’ll excuse my French, Thierry, go stick your va va voom where it hurts.

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