81 awesome anatomy words to conquer head and body parts in French

It’s a Romance language, and they say it’s also the language of love. But to be truly romantic, you’ll need to know how to talk about body parts in French.

Couple having a romantic picnic in France.

Indeed, being able to compliment your chéri(e)’s face, hair, and eyes will get you far. But besides romantic endeavors, knowing the parts of the body in French can be super important—and potentially life-saving.

If you need a doctor while visiting Paris or Québec, you’ll likely find it very useful to know how to communicate where the pain is coming from.

So, whether you’re looking to be romantic for a special someone or wanting to be prepared for any mishaps, we’ve got your back. This guide will show you how to talk about the parts of the body in French, both inner and outer. We’ll also include some tips and fun songs to help you memorize every body part.

Ready to get started? Allez-y !

Why learn about French body parts?

Doctors visits

As you can imagine, fewer things can be scarier than being in a foreign country and not being able to communicate with medical personnel. Even if you’re a healthy person and not prone to sickness, you should know about the body parts in case of an accident while abroad.

Once you learn the French body parts along with a little vocabulary for pains and aches, you’ll be prepared for any unforeseen illnesses and injuries.

Understand charcuterie

Make a tasty charcuterie board by learning the body parts in French.

Who doesn’t love a good charcuterie board? France is known for its spectacular cheeses as well as their artisanal cold cuts. Next time you pay a visit to your charcutière, you can be prepared to ask for specific animal body parts, especially if you’ve already studied the animals in French.

Learn French sayings and expressions

French is a language as diverse as it is beautiful. With francophone countries in every continent, you’ll find that there are countless French slang words and expressions that involve the body parts.

While this diversity of expressions can be exciting, it can also be a challenge if you don’t have solid vocabulary foundations. Keep reading this blog to learn a few dozen French sayings and expressions that involve body parts!

How to say “body” in French

Now, let’s get started. The first thing you should know is how to say body in French: le corps. If it reminds you of the English corpse, you’re right. The English word for corpse comes from Old French, although its meaning has changed to a dead body. This is not the case in French, as le corps still very much refers to a living body (a dead one is called un cadavre).

Another thing you should keep in mind is the pronunciation of corps. If you’ve been studying French for a while, you may already be familiar with French pronunciation rules. In this word, the final consonants are silent, so you only pronounce “cor.” It should sound almost like core, but with a little of that French “arr” sound that we all love.

Head in French

Moving on to the rest of the body, the next most important word to know is head: la tête. In addition to being one of the most important parts of the body, this word is also one of the most popular for phrases and sayings. It can also be used figuratively to represent other non-tangible things, like the mind or the top of something.

If you’re trying to flirt with a beautiful francophone, you may also find the parts of their face worth complimenting. Let’s get into the facial vocabulary in the easy-to-follow table below.

Face parts in French

There are many parts of the face that you need to study in French in order to be effective at communicating. After all, you can’t say that your head hurts when you really meant to say that your eye hurts.

We will cover each part of the face in French and provide you with the translation as well as pronunciation so that you can start using them right away.

We’ll first list the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) spelling followed by the intuitive pronunciation for English speakers, so feel free to follow whichever you prefer.

English French French IPA spelling French pronunciation
Head La tête la tɛt La teht
Face Le visage lə vizaʒ Luh vee-sash
Ears Les oreilles lez‿ ɔʁɛj Les oh-ray
Eyes Les yeux lez‿ jø Les zheuh
Nose Le nez lə ne Luh neh
Chin Le menton lə mɑ̃tɔ̃ Luh mahn-ton
Cheeks Les joues le ʒu Lay zhu
Forehead Le front lə fʁɔ̃ Luh frohn
Jaw La mâchoire la maʃwaʁ La ma-shoo-ar
Eyebrows Les sourcils le suʁsil Lay soor-see
Eyelashes Les cils le sil Lay see
Temple Le temple lə tɑ̃pl Luh tahm-pluh
Nostril La narine la naʁin La na-reen
Lips Les lèvres le lɛvʁ Lay leh-vreh
Mouth La bouche la buʃ La boosh
Teeth / tooth Les dents / Le dent lə dɑ̃ / le dɑ̃ Le dohn / les dohn
Tongue La langue a lɑ̃ɡ La lawng
Hair Les cheveux le ʃəvø Lay shay-vuh
Neck Le cou lə ku Le coo


Other body parts in French

Woman bike riding in France singing body parts in French song.

Besides the head, there are dozens of other anatomy words that you should learn. Let us walk you through some of the most common ones along with their pronunciation so that you can talk about the body in French like a pro.

English French body part French IPA spelling French pronunciation
Legs Les jambes le ʒɑ̃b Les zhahmb
Right leg La jambe droite la ʒɑ̃b dʁwat La zhamb droo-at
Left leg La jambe gauche la ʒɑ̃b ɡoʃ La zhamb gohsh
Hands Les mains le mɛ̃ Lay mahn
Right hand La main droite la mɛ̃ dʁwat La mahn droo-at
Left hand La main gauche la mɛ̃ ɡoʃ La mahn gohsh
Foot / feet Le pied / Les pieds lə pje / le pje Luh pee-ed / lay pee-ed
Right foot Le pied droit lə pje dʁwa Luh pee-ed droo-at
Left foot Le pied gauche lə pje ɡoʃ Luh pee-ed gohsh
Shoulders Les épaules lez‿ epol Les ay-paul
Right shoulder L’épaule droite lepol dʁwat Lay-paul droo-at
Left shoulder L’épaule gauche lepol ɡoʃ Lay-paul gohsh
Toes Les orteils lez‿ ɔʁtɛj Les or-tay
Elbow Le coude lə kud Luh cood
Forearm L’avant bras lavɑ̃ bʁa La-vahn brah
Wrist Le poignet lə pwaɲɛ Luh poo-ah-gnet
Fingers Les doigts le dwa Les doo-aht
Thumb Le pouce lə pus Luh poos
Index / pointer finger L’indice lɛ̃dis luhn-deez
Middle finger Le majeur lə maʒœʁ Luh ma-zhur
Ring finger L’annulaire lannylɛʁ la-nu-lehr
Pinky finger Le petit doigt lə pəti dwa Luh puh-tee doo-ah
Knuckles Les jointures le ʒwɛ̃tyʁ Les zhuan-tour
Fingernails Les ongles lez‿ ɔ̃ɡl Les ohn-gluh
Fingertips Du bout des doigts dy bu de dwa Doo boo deh doo-aht
Hip L’hanche lɑ̃ʃ lansh
Butt Le bout lə bu Luh boo
Thigh La cuisse la kɥis La coo-is
Knee Le genou lə ʒənu Luh zhuh-noo
Calf Le veau lə vo Luh voh
Ankle La cheville la ʃəvij La sheh-veey
Heel Le talon lə talɔ̃ Luh ta-loh
Waist La taille la taj La tah-eey
Abs Les abdos lez‿ abdo Les ab-doh
Breast Le sein lə sɛ̃ Luh sah
Chest Le coffre lə kɔfʁ Luh cohfr
Skin La peau la po La poh


Inside body parts in French

We will often need to talk about our inside body parts. Whether we want to share that we feel butterflies in our stomach, or whether we need to describe an unusual ache to a doctor, knowing how to talk about internal organs will be very helpful.

Here is a table with some of the most common inside body parts in French.

English French body part French IPA spelling French pronunciation
Brain Le cerveau lə sɛʁvo Luh ser-voh
Heart Le cœur lə kœʁ Luh kuhr
Lungs Les poumons le pumɔ̃ Lay poo-moh
Muscle Le muscle lə myskl Luh moose-cluh
Stomach L’estomac lɛstɔma les-toh-mac
Bones Les os lez‿ ɔs Les oh
Liver Le foie lə fwa Luh foo-ah
Kidneys Les reins le ʁɛ̃ Lay rahn
Ribcage La cage thoracique la kaʒ tɔʁasik La cazh toh-rah-sic
Rib La côte la kot La cot
Spine La colonne vertébrale la kɔlɔn vɛʁtebʁal La coh-lonne ver-tay-bral
Blood Le sang lə sɑ̃ Luh sahng
Veins Les veines le vɛn Lay vahn
Arteries Les artères lez‿ aʁtɛʁ Les ar-tayr
Esophagus L’œsophage lezɔfaʒ luh-so-fash
Gallbladder La vésicule biliaire la vezikyl biljɛʁ La vay-see-cool
Pancreas Le pancréas lə pɑ̃kʁeas Luh pan-cray-as
Bladder La vessie la vesi La vay-see
Appendix L’appendice lapɛ̃dis La-pehn-deez
Tonsils Les amygdales lez‿ amiɡdal Les ah-meeg-dahl
Trachea La trachée la tʁaʃe La trahn-shay
Spleen Le spleen lə splin Luh spleen
Large intestine Le gros intestin lə ɡʁo ɛ̃tɛstɛ̃ Luh groh sin-tay-stahn
Small intestine L’intestin grêle lɛ̃tɛstɛ̃ ɡʁɛl Lahn-tay-stahn graylle
Colon Le côlon lə kolɔ̃ Le coh-loh

Body parts in French songs

Learning a foreign language by listening to music is one of the greatest life hacks you can discover. Your brain is smart enough to absorb the lyrics of music, even if you’re not paying close attention to it. With these songs, learning this new vocab will almost feel like cheating!

Les parties du corps - Des os, il en faut - alain le lait

If there’s something the French can do, it’s make extremely catchy music. Even if you’re not into children’s music, this catchy song about body parts is sure to stick with you if you listen to the song a couple of times.

Jean Petit qui danse

If you’re looking for something a little more dynamic, then this song about Jean Petit is sure to get you dancing. This can be a great song to play in class, especially if you’re looking for a dance that can be easily choreographed and performed, while keeping instructive.

Alouette, gentille alouette

This popular French children’s song is about body parts, just not human body parts. This song is about a little alouette (lark) and how you are going to pluck its feathers body part by body part. This song is very popular all over the world, as it is thought that foreign soldiers learned the song during World War I and brought it back home with them.

Regardless, it is an extremely catchy song that is sure to get you to sing along. You’ll practice some body parts like tête and cou and learn some bird vocabulary, such as bec (beak) and ailes (wings).

Body-related French words, expressions and sayings

Learning the different body parts in French will help you understand one crucial part of French culture: idioms. There are countless popular phrases and sayings in French that involve body parts, and trust us when we say that you’ll have a hard time understanding francophones if you’re not familiar with these idioms.

Here are some popular words and sayings in French that involve body parts.

English French French IPA spelling French pronunciation
Nobody Personne pɛʁsɔn per-son
Somebody Quelqu’un kɛlkɛ̃ Quel-cuh
Everybody Tout le monde tu lə mɔ̃d Too luh mohnd
Headache Mal de tête mal də tɛt Mal duh teht
Bodyguard Le garde du corps lə ɡaʁdə dy kɔʁ La gard doo cohr
Homebody Un casanier / Une casanière ɛ̃ kazanje / yn kazanjɛʁ An ca-sa-nee-er / oon ca-sa-nee-ere
To be level-headed Être bien dans sa tête ɛtʁə bjɛ̃ dɑ̃ sa tɛt Ehtr bee-ahn dahn sa teht
To have your head in the clouds Avoir la tête dans les nuages avwaʁ la tɛt dɑ̃ le nyaʒ Ah-voo-ar la teht dahn lay noo-ash
To have your head on your shoulders (to have common sense) Avoir la tête sur les épaules avwaʁ la tɛt syʁ lez‿ epol Ah-voo-ar la teht soor les eh-paul
To be hard-headed Avoir la tête dure avwaʁ la tɛt dyʁ Ah-voo-ar la teht door
To be focused on a task Avoir la tête dans le guidon avwaʁ la tɛt dɑ̃ lə ɡidɔ̃ Ah-voo-ar la teht dah luh gee-doh
To live in your own imagination Avoir la tête ailleurs avwaʁ la tɛt‿ ajœʁ Ah-voo-ar la teht ay-yur
To have a long face Faire la tête fɛʁ la tɛt Fehr la teht
To have a big head (arrogant) Avoir une grosse tête avwaʁ‿ yn ɡʁos tɛt Ah-voo-ar oon gross teht
To look tired Avoir une sale tête avwaʁ‿ yn sal tɛt Ah-voo-ar sal teht
To think very hard Se creuser la tête sə kʁøze la tɛt Suh croo-say la teht
To not be scared very easily Ne pas avoir froid aux yeux nə pa avwaʁ fʁwa oz‿ jø Nuh pah ah-voo-ar froo-ah oz zheuh
Yeah, right! (ironically) Mon oeil! mɔ̃n‿ ɔɛj ‖ Mon uy
To be very focused Ne pas lever le nez nə pa ləve lə ne Nuh pah luh-vay luh neh
To keep your mouth shut Rester bouche cousue ʁɛste buʃ kuzy Res-tay boosh coo-zoo
To have trouble speaking because of a sore throat Avoir un chat dans la gorge avwaʁ‿ ɛ̃ ʃa dɑ̃ la ɡɔʁʒ Ah-voo-ar an sha dahn la gorsh
A little bird told me Mon petit doigt m’as dit mɔ̃ pəti dwa ma di Mon puh-tee doo-ah mah dee
A very generous person Avoir le coeur sur la main avwaʁ lə kɔœʁ syʁ la mɛ̃ Ah-voo-ar le kur sur la mah
To have a wide network, to be well-connected Avoir le bras long avwaʁ lə bʁa lɔ̃ Ah-voo-ar luh brah long
A piece of cake Avoir les doigts dans le nez avwaʁ le dwa dɑ̃ lə ne Ah-voo-ar lay doo-ah dahn luh nay
To be very hungry Avoir l'estomac creux avwaʁ lɛstɔma kʁø Ah-voo-ar les-toh-mac kroo
To annoy someone Casser les pieds à quelqu’un kase le pje a kɛlkɛ̃ Cah-say lay pee-eh a quel-cah
To be very precise Avoir le compas dans l’œil avwaʁ lə kɔ̃pa dɑ̃ lœj Ah-voo-ar luh come-pah dahn luy
To have a lisp Avoir un cheveu sur la langue avwaʁ‿ ɛ̃ ʃəvø syʁ la lɑ̃ɡ Ah-voo-ar an shay-vuh sur la lang
Someone who is very lazy Avoir un poil dans la main avwaʁ‿ ɛ̃ pwal dɑ̃ la mɛ̃ Ah-voo-ar poo-al dan la mah
To hold a grudge against someone Avoir une dent contre quelqu’un avwaʁ‿ yn dɑ̃ kɔ̃tʁə kɛlkɛ̃ Ah-voo-ar oon dohn contr quel-cuh
Confident in one’s skin Bien dans sa peau bjɛ̃ dɑ̃ sa po Bee-ah dahn sa poh
To brainwash someone Bourrer le crâne buʁe lə kʁan Boo-reh la crahn
To sleep like a baby Dormir sur ses deux oreilles dɔʁmiʁ syʁ se døz‿ ɔʁɛj Dore-meer sur say dooz oh-ray
A hangover La gueule de bois la ɡœl də bwa La goll duh boo-ah

Tips for learning French body parts

If you don’t like traditional study methods, we get you. And we’ve got your back. There are many ways to learn the parts of the body in French that don’t involve flashcards or long hours at the library.

Here are some of our top tips.

Mother makes learning the body parts in French fun for her boys.

1. Make it a game

As always, learning is much more effective when you’re having fun. French vocabulary is no exception. Luckily, there are many fun games that you can play if you want to learn the parts of the body.

Some of our favorites are:

  • Twister. This classic board game will make you focus on different body parts as well as left (gauche) and right (droite). Unfortunately, you’ll need at least two other people to play this game.
  • Operation. This is another classic board game that will help you get acquainted with many more body parts. If you can’t find a French version, you can just make your own cards in French.
  • Jacques a dit. This is the French version of the popular game Simon Says. With at least three players, one person assumes the role of Jacques and issues instructions to the players. You can play a body parts version of Jacques a dit where the instructions have to involve body parts in French, such as “hold your oreille droite with your main gauche.”

Feel free to think of more games you can play to practice the human anatomy in French! The important part is for you to engage with this new vocabulary so that it eventually sticks, so don’t be afraid to get creative. The sky’s the limit!

2. Attend a yoga class in French

If you’re already in a French-speaking region, you might find a yoga class to be extremely helpful at getting you to learn the body parts. Not only will you get a workout, but you’ll also be practicing your French body parts as you follow the instructor’s commands to move through the different positions.

If you don’t live in a place where you can find yoga classes in French, you can always turn to YouTube. Although there are plenty of French instructors offering classes at all levels, here is a great vinyasa video for any level.

3. Watch medical dramas

Are you a fan of Grey’s Anatomy? If so, you may be thrilled to learn that you could learn the body parts in French as you watch your favorite medical drama. As medical professionals, many of their conversations tend to focus on body parts, organs, and what is wrong with patients. Great way to learn about body parts!

No matter where you are in the world, Netflix offers many audio and subtitle options for its shows. You can either change the language of the show (which we recommend!) or simply add French subtitles in order to get more out of your unwinding activities.

If you’d rather watch an authentic French production, you can watch the hit TV show Hippocrate. This show follows the lives of four medical students and, as you can imagine, there is plenty of discussion about body parts!

Keep your momentum!

Now that you’ve started learning about the body parts in French, the last thing you should do is stop! Even if it takes you a while to learn them all, the most important thing is that you keep moving forward along your journey.

And if you think you can learn the body parts avec les doigts dan le nez, then check out some of our other guides on French slang, the different ways to say hello in French, and more.

Bon courage et à bientôt!

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