Culture | Slang
Slang words are used to describe a category of person. For instance “une tchoin” is an easy girl, “un srab” is a brother. Today, let’s see another category of person in French Slang : “les shlags” or “les geush”.
At the beginning, this word is coming from German countries. It’s, in fact, a very old word. It’s referring to a 19th century military punition in the Prussian army. “Une shlag”, a wood stick, was used to beat disobedient soldiers.
Finally, we are doing a word which originates in France. However, the meaning of the word changed a lot over time. And, weirdly enough, it’s now used to describe a very precise category of person : drugs addict. More generally, it’s used to describe any dirty, shifty or really strange individual. This change of meaning could come from a mix with another slang word: the verb “shlinguer” which means to smell bad.
Moreover, French youth also use “geush”, which is the verlan of “shlag”. Go check our article about this process if you didn’t get it.
• Example in rap
• “Mais t’es soûl avant moi, ouais, t’es rré-bou comme un shlag” [You’re drunk before me, yes, you are fucked up like a crack addict] (Zola – Extasy)
• “Toi t’es un grand, mais comme t’es un shlag, chez nous on te prend pour un tit-pe” [You are an older, but because you are a drug addict, here we treat you as a younger” (Kalash Criminel – 10 12 14 Bureau)
• “Et toi t’as peur donc tu donnes tous les blazes / Comme un shlag au bord de la rechute” [You’re afraid so you snitch a lot / like a drug addict close to relapse] (Ninho – Monotonie)
• “Une gourde, j’fais l’shlag quand cette putain d’vie m’ennuie” [An hip flask, I act like a drug addict when this fucking life bore me] (PNL – Blanka)