Do you know what a macronade is? A macronade is a word to qualify the unusual expressions or words used by Emmanuel Macron.

Macronade is a word created from the name Macron.

Emmanuel Macron has a very particular way of speaking. He has a sometimes literary and "old" French and sometimes he has a more modern, slangy French that often makes polemics.

I help you today to understand the French that Emmanuel Macron speaks.


"C'est de la poudre de perlimpinpin !"

C'est de la poudre de perlimpinpin ! I think this is one of the most famous phrases of Emmanuel Macron.

This sentence made the French people laugh a lot, because it is an expression that is not used much and considered old-fashioned.

"C'est de la poudre de perlimpinpin" a kind of allegedly magic powder that would have beneficial effects, but in reality does not work. By using this expression, we indicate the hypocrisy of our interlocutor's words.

When E. Macron says this phrase, he wants to indicate to his rival Marine Lepen that the solution, the project she proposes is, in reality, useless and ineffective.

This phrase, normally not used much, has become popular again thanks to Emmanuel Macron.

One can even find objects that bear the name "C'est de la poudre de perlimpinpin !" like this herbal tea for example.


"La meilleure façon de se payer un costard, c’est de travailler."

Phrase from Emmanuel Macron that has caused controversy. But, we are not here to talk about politics, but about French.

What is quite amazing about E. Macron is that he can say rather old and sometimes literary expressions, and the next minute tell us familiar words.

Un costard is  a man's suit. We also say "a smoking". It's an outfit with a shirt, blazer, tie, and pants. It's a pretty fancy outfit.

Un costard is a colloquial word for a suit.

And by this sentence, the president indicates to the person, that if he wants to buy his suit, he can do it by working.


"On met un pognon de dingue dans les minima sociaux."

Another familiar sentence, more authentic from E. Macron.

We notice that he uses "ON" and not "NOUS". It's much more natural to use "ON" instead of "NOUS" when speaking. It is spoken French, authentic.

This is what I explain in my free ebook “Master spoken French"”. This is an ebook that will allow you to better understand spoken French and also to master it yourself and speak more authentically French.


"Un pognon de dingue"

Le pognon, un pognon, du pognon. It's a familiar word for money.

"Avoir du pognon", it means "to have money".

"Dingue"it means "crazy".

Quelque chose de dingue, it's something incredible, something huge, something very important.

“On met un pognon de dingue” means that there is a significant amount of money that goes into income, into aid for people in precarious situations.

Les minima sociaux, are the minimum income for a person (or his family) in a precarious situation. They are aids for people who do not have much money and who have financial difficulties.


"Ces Gaulois, réfractaires au changement."


Another sentence of E. Macron that has caused a lot of controversy.

Les Gaulois are a people who lived in Gaul and who were geographically in France. It is considered that the Gauls are among the ancestors of the French.

It's notably because of them that we say seventy, eighty and ninety. That would be a heritage of the Gauls. Tell me in comments how much you love the Gauls now that you know this.

The image we have of the Gauls, especially with the comic strip Asterix and Obelix, is that they are a rather traditional, resistant people who are not open to change and modernity. It seems that this image is not entirely true, but that is not the discussion today.

E. Macron, in speaking of the Gauls, is referring to the French. He means that the French people are a bit like the Gauls: not open to change, always resisting authority, the government.

Être réfractaire à quelque chose is to resist, not to submit to something.

Je suis réfractaire au changement = I refuse to change, I am against change.


"Le carburant, c’est pas bibi."

Again, I find it interesting to see the gap between Emmanuel Macron's rather old, literary, metaphorical French during his speeches. And when he talks to the French in the street, he is much more familiar.

This expression is quite funny “C’est pas bibi” or we also say “C’est bibi”, “C’est bibi qui l’a fait”.

Actually, “bibi” it's me.

If I say “ C’est pas bibi” it means “C’est pas moi”.

“C’est bibi qui l’a fait” means “I'm the one who did it.

Simply put. It's a familiar way of saying "This is me".

We could say for example:

Allez, c’est encore bibi qui fait le ménage.
= I'm still the one doing the cleaning.


Here, E. Macron is talking to a Frenchman who is complaining about the price of fuel. And E. Macron answers that “Le carburant, c’est pas bibi”. It's not him, it is not his fault. He does not manage the price of fuel.

I looked up the origin of this expression "C'est pas bibi" / "C'est bibi", but it's pretty vague. "Bibi" would originally mean something small, affectionate that turned into a colloquial term for "me" in the 19ᵉ century.


 🇫🇷  I'll see you soon for new adventures, in French of course.