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racaille f (plural racailles)

  1. (derogatory) People, mainly young and from the inner city, who engage in antisocial behaviour; rabble, riffraff; rascals.
    • 2005, a resident of an estate hit by rioting and then– Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy:
      resident: Monsieur Sarkozy, est-ce que vous pouvez nous débarrasser de cette racaille ?
      Sarkozy: Vous voulez qu'on vous débarrasse de cette racaille, on va le faire.
      resident: Mr. Sarkozy, can you get rid of this racaille for us?
      Sarkozy: You want us to get rid of this racaille? We're on the case.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Some of the British press (BBC, Guardian) incorrectly translated 'racaille' as 'scum'. The closest descendent in the English language is rascal. It is like a chav (in appearance), and hoodlum or thug (in behaviour).



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