How Do You Say “Bald” In French?

French is a beautiful and romantic language that has captivated people from around the world for centuries. It is no wonder that so many people are interested in learning French, whether it be for business, travel, or personal enrichment. One of the most interesting aspects of learning a new language is discovering new words and phrases that don’t have an exact translation in your native tongue. In this article, we will explore the French word for “bald” and delve into the nuances of its usage.

The French translation for “bald” is “chauve”. This word is used to describe someone who has no hair on their head, whether it be due to age, genetics, or a medical condition. While it may seem like a simple word, “chauve” has a rich history and cultural significance in the French language.

How Do You Pronounce The French Word For “Bald”?

Learning how to properly pronounce French words can be a daunting task for non-native speakers. However, with practice and a little guidance, anyone can master the art of French pronunciation. In this article, we will explore how to properly pronounce the French word for “bald.”

Phonetic Breakdown

The French word for “bald” is “chauve.” To properly pronounce this word, it is important to break it down phonetically:

  • Ch-: pronounced like the “sh” sound in English
  • -au-: pronounced like the “o” sound in “go”
  • -ve: pronounced like the “v” sound in English

Putting these sounds together, “chauve” is pronounced like “shohv.”

Tips For Pronunciation

Here are some tips for properly pronouncing the French word for “bald:”

  • Practice pronouncing each sound separately before putting them together.
  • Pay attention to the “ch” sound, which can be difficult for English speakers to master.
  • Make sure to pronounce the “v” sound at the end of the word, as it is often silent in French words.
  • Listen to native French speakers and try to mimic their pronunciation.

With these tips and practice, you can confidently pronounce the French word for “bald” like a native speaker.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The French Word For “Bald”

Proper grammar is crucial when using the French word for “bald,” as incorrect usage can lead to confusion or misinterpretation. When using the French word for “bald,” it is important to understand its placement in sentences, verb conjugations or tenses, agreement with gender and number, and any common exceptions.

Placement In Sentences

In French, adjectives typically come after the noun they describe. This means that “bald” will usually come after the noun in a sentence. For example:

  • Il est chauve. (He is bald.)
  • Elle a les cheveux chauves. (She has bald hair.)

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

The verb tense or conjugation used in a sentence can affect the form of “bald” used. For example, in the present tense, “bald” is “chauve,” while in the past tense, it becomes “chauves.” Examples include:

  • Je suis chauve. (I am bald.)
  • Nous étions chauves. (We were bald.)

Agreement With Gender And Number

Like most French adjectives, “bald” agrees with the gender and number of the noun it describes. For example:

  • Il est chauve. (He is bald.)
  • Elle est chauve. (She is bald.)
  • Ils sont chauves. (They are bald.)
  • Elles sont chauves. (They are bald.)

Common Exceptions

There are a few exceptions to the standard rules for using “bald” in French. For example, when describing a woman who shaves her head, “rasée” (shaved) is often used instead of “chauve.” Additionally, in certain expressions or idioms, “bald” may be translated differently. For example:

  • Être à la merci des chauves-souris. (To be at the mercy of bats.)

Examples Of Phrases Using The French Word For “Bald”

When it comes to learning a new language, one of the most important aspects is vocabulary. Knowing how to say different words can make a big difference in communicating effectively. One word that may come up in conversation is “bald” or “baldness.” In this section, we will explore common phrases that include the French word for bald and provide examples of how they are used in sentences.

Common Phrases With The French Word For Bald

Here are some common phrases that include the French word for bald:

Phrase Translation
Avoir les cheveux ras To have a buzz cut
Être chauve To be bald
Perdre ses cheveux To lose one’s hair
Être dégarni To be balding

These phrases can be used in a variety of situations. For example:

  • “Il est chauve depuis l’âge de 20 ans.” – “He has been bald since the age of 20.”
  • “Elle a décidé de se raser les cheveux.” – “She decided to shave her head.”
  • “Mon père perd ses cheveux depuis quelques années.” – “My father has been losing his hair for a few years.”

Example Dialogue Using The French Word For Bald

Here is an example dialogue using the French word for bald:

Marie: Tu as changé de coupe de cheveux ?

Pierre: Oui, j’ai décidé d’avoir les cheveux ras.

Marie: Ah, je vois. Tu es chauve maintenant.

Pierre: Oui, j’ai décidé de tout raser.


Marie: Did you change your hairstyle?

Pierre: Yes, I decided to have a buzz cut.

Marie: Ah, I see. You’re bald now.

Pierre: Yes, I decided to shave it all off.

This dialogue shows how the French word for bald can be used in conversation. It is important to note that context and tone can also play a role in how these phrases are used.

More Contextual Uses Of The French Word For “Bald”

Understanding the contextual usage of a word is crucial to mastering a language. The French word for “bald” is “chauve.” This section will explore the various contexts in which this word is used in the French language.

Formal Usage

In formal settings, the word “chauve” is used to describe someone who is completely bald. This usage is appropriate in professional settings, such as in the workplace or in academic settings. For example:

  • Le professeur de mathématiques est chauve.
  • The math teacher is bald.

Informal Usage

Informally, the word “chauve” can be used to describe someone who is bald, but it can also be used in a teasing or playful manner. For example:

  • Tu es chauve comme une boule de billard !
  • You’re as bald as a billiard ball!

It’s important to note that the tone and context of the conversation will determine whether this usage is appropriate or not.

Other Contexts

Besides formal and informal usage, “chauve” can also be used in slang, idiomatic expressions, or cultural/historical contexts. For example:

  • Chauve-souris – bat (literal translation: bald mouse)
  • Chauve qui peut – everyone for themselves (literal translation: bald who can)
  • Le chauve de Napoléon – Joseph Fouché, a French statesman who was known for his baldness

Popular Cultural Usage

In popular culture, the word “chauve” has been used in various ways. For example, in the French comic book series “Asterix,” one of the characters, Obelix, is known for being bald and is often referred to as “le gros chauve” (the big bald guy). Additionally, the French film “Le Grand Bain” (Sink or Swim) features a character named Marcus, who is bald and is often teased by his friends about it.

Regional Variations Of The French Word For “Bald”

Like many languages, French has regional variations in vocabulary and pronunciation. This is also true for the word “bald” in French.

Usage In Different French-speaking Countries

The French word for “bald” is “chauve,” and it is used in all French-speaking countries. However, there are some variations in usage.

  • In France, “chauve” is the most common word for “bald.”
  • In Canada, “chauve” is also used, but the Quebecois dialect may use “pelé” or “tondu” instead.
  • In Belgium, “chauve” is used, but the Walloon dialect may use “tchantchès” instead.
  • In Switzerland, “chauve” is used in French-speaking regions, but the Swiss-German dialect may use “glatt” or “glattköpfig” instead.

Regional Pronunciations

There are also variations in pronunciation of “chauve” across different regions of French-speaking countries.

Region Pronunciation
France shōv
Canada shōv or shōv-uh
Belgium shōv or shō-vuh
Switzerland shōv or shō-vuh

As you can see, there are some differences in the way “chauve” is pronounced across different regions. However, the differences are generally minor and should not cause confusion.

Other Uses Of The French Word For “Bald” In Speaking & Writing

While the French word for “bald” may seem like a straightforward term, it can actually have various meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Understanding these different uses is essential for effectively communicating in French.

1. Adjective

As an adjective, “bald” in French is typically used to describe a person who has no hair on their head. However, it can also be used to describe something that is lacking or bare, such as a tree without leaves or a room without furniture.

For example:

  • Il est devenu chauve à l’âge de 30 ans. (He became bald at the age of 30.)
  • Le jardin est complètement chauve en hiver. (The garden is completely bare in winter.)

2. Noun

As a noun, “bald” in French refers to a person who is bald. However, it can also be used in a more figurative sense to refer to someone who is lacking in something.

For example:

  • Mon oncle est chauve depuis qu’il était jeune. (My uncle has been bald since he was young.)
  • Cet argument est complètement chauve de sens. (This argument is completely devoid of meaning.)

3. Verb

As a verb, “bald” in French means to shave or to remove hair from a person or animal.

For example:

  • J’ai décidé de me raser la tête et de devenir chauve. (I decided to shave my head and become bald.)
  • Ils ont dû chauver le chat pour enlever les nœuds dans son pelage. (They had to shave the cat to remove the knots in its fur.)

Overall, understanding the different uses of the French word for “bald” is crucial for effectively communicating in the language. By being aware of the various meanings, you can ensure that you are using the term appropriately and accurately conveying your intended message.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The French Word For “Bald”

When it comes to finding synonyms or related terms for the French word for “bald,” there are several options to consider.


  • Chauve
  • Dégarni
  • Nu-tête
  • À la calvitie naissante

The most common synonym for “bald” in French is “chauve.” This word is used to describe someone who is completely bald, with no hair on their head whatsoever. “Dégarni” is another term that is often used to describe someone who is balding or has a receding hairline, but still has some hair on their head. “Nu-tête” is a more informal term that can be used to describe someone who is bald, but it is not as commonly used as “chauve” or “dégarni.”

“À la calvitie naissante” is a more formal term that can be used to describe someone who is just beginning to experience hair loss. This term is used to describe someone who has a receding hairline or is starting to develop bald spots, but still has a significant amount of hair on their head.


  • Les cheveux
  • Les poils

The antonyms for “bald” in French are “les cheveux” and “les poils.” These words are used to describe hair and fur, respectively. While “bald” describes the absence of hair, “les cheveux” and “les poils” describe the presence of hair or fur.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The French Word For “Bald”

When it comes to using the French word for “bald,” non-native speakers often make mistakes due to the complexities of the French language. Some of the most common errors include:

  • Mispronouncing the word – the French word for “bald” is “chauve” (pronounced “shove”). Non-native speakers may mispronounce the word by emphasizing the wrong syllable or pronouncing it with a hard “ch” sound.
  • Using the wrong gender – in French, nouns have a gender (either masculine or feminine). The word “chauve” is masculine, but non-native speakers may mistakenly use the feminine form (“chauve”) instead.
  • Using the wrong article – in French, articles (such as “the” or “a”) must agree with the gender of the noun. Non-native speakers may use the wrong article when referring to a bald person or object.

Highlight These Mistakes And Provide Tips To Avoid Them.

To avoid making these common mistakes when using the French word for “bald,” follow these tips:

  1. Practice pronunciation – listen to native speakers pronounce the word and practice saying it yourself. Pay attention to the correct syllable emphasis and the “sh” sound.
  2. Learn the gender of the word – memorize that “chauve” is a masculine noun, so it should be used with masculine articles and pronouns.
  3. Pay attention to articles – when referring to a bald person or object, make sure to use the correct article that agrees with the gender of the noun.

By avoiding these common mistakes, non-native speakers can confidently use the French word for “bald” in their conversations and writing.


In this blog post, we explored the French word for bald and its various meanings. We learned that the most common translation for bald in French is “chauve,” but there are other words and expressions that can be used depending on the context and tone of the conversation.

We also discussed the cultural significance of hair and baldness in France and how it relates to gender, age, and social status. We saw that while baldness is generally accepted and even admired in men, it can be a source of embarrassment or insecurity for women.

Lastly, we looked at some common phrases and idioms in French that involve hair or baldness, such as “prendre ses cheveux pour des nouilles” (to be fooled) or “avoir les cheveux en bataille” (to have messy hair).

Encouragement To Practice

Learning a new language can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding and fun. If you are interested in using the French word for bald in real-life conversations, we encourage you to practice and immerse yourself in the language as much as possible.

You can start by using the word “chauve” in different contexts and with different people, such as your French-speaking friends, colleagues, or acquaintances. You can also try watching French movies or TV shows that feature bald characters or reading books or articles about hair and beauty in France.

Remember that language learning is a process, and it takes time and effort to become proficient. Don’t be discouraged if you make mistakes or struggle with pronunciation or grammar. Keep practicing and seeking feedback, and you will see progress and improvement over time.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.