First of all, i hope the admins will let the slang go through the filters... it's required to answer hat question.
"con" is most likely one of the trikiest words to translate from French in any other language.
Instead of trying to do such a thing about what has been said, let me just give you a few examples of how wide the implicit sense can change depending on the sentence, the adjectives used and the situation.
A "con" is literraly an "asshole". Now is the words does translate as "vagina" in slang, it's hardly ever intended to mean this. "con" is a concept by itself... it's just exists as it is, there's no real French synonym for the word.
A "jeune con" is a young fool. Someone that's young of age and has not lived enough years yet to have had life educating him.
A "petit con" is more like a "little moron". It can be a kid that keeps messins around. One will mostly use that expression when already quite pissed off. If used to refer at someone older than a young kid, it can also mean that one person considers another to be a "petit con" because that last one acted quite stupidly in reference to his age, causing trouble.
A "gros con" is the classical insult. When you treat someone on being a "gros con" it just means you consider he's a plain moron, that he lacks any kind of delicacy, politeness, education, brains... The word "gros" ("fat") just adds to the expression implying that the person is coarse and rude.
A "sale con". Well, if usually the word "con" implies the person is a bit stupid (or just acted stupid), in this expression there's no reference to any brains. A "sale con" translates better in an "evil bastard". A "sale con" is someone who acted or talked in such a way that other people got harmed for no good reason.
One would say that of someone that's been acting despicably. It's one of the worst qualifications one can put on someone else as it's not a conjonctural instul, it implies a real flaw in the personnae.
A "vieux con" is an "old fart". Most of the times it's a gently used expression that means no real harm. Of course you won't say it to the face of the elder you refer to.
Still, sometimes this can imply more than just gentleness and mean that the personn aimed it might be either a bit senile or living in the past and hanging in there despite everything.
A "pauvre con"... that one expression i finally have to treat :)
It's an extremely conjonctural expression. Depending on the atmosphere, the context and everything it can range from a buddy joke to a raw insult.
I won't translate it as it's quite hard to find the words, but when used by Sarkozy it just meant to show all the disrespect he had for that person in front of him that tried to insult him. "Pauvre con" refered there at some (supposed) incapacity of that man to use his brains correctly to come up with a better judgment.
basically, if that man hates the President, why would he stand there? He'd better spend his time someplace else than in the cheering crowd.
Now, quite often one can use the word "con" in a gentle and friendly way. To treat your friend a "con", "pauvre con", "gros con" usually means the sam kind of thing as slap on the cheeks. Just being buddies.
I'll call my best friend "cons" from time to time in the discussion just as one would say in the US something like "dude, you' re a dick" in the best possible way :)
· 10 years ago