44 Romantic French Words and Sayings for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s day (Saint-Valentin), what is it about? It is about love (l’amour) of course. The celebration (La fête) of love with a big L ! But it is also the celebration of friends (amis) as friendship (amitié) is love too. And in these days, any kind of love is welcome!

In the United States, « Valentines » can send love cards to several recipients. While in France people usually concentrate on the chosen one (l’élu(e) de son coeur). They offer her/him a little present (un cadeau). A jewel (un bijou), chocolate for the sweetness (gourmandise) or a red rose, symbol of passion. That they will offer during a romantic dinner, ideally with candles (un dÎner aux chandelles). Telling each other sweet nothings (des mots doux) and cuddling (des papouilles).

But when did lovers start to bill and cool (roucouler) on the 14th of February? Actually, nobody knows exactly. Its origin is definitely pagan and has to do with fecundity (fécondité). Or more exactly with the renewal (le renouveau) of nature that appears around mid-February. Also, all lovers around the world do not celebrate love on that day. Many countries glorify (célébrer) love according to their own history, culture and hemisphere (indeed, because of the renewal of nature!).

And did you know that for a long period of time Valentine’s day celebrated single men and women (les célibataires)? On that day, singles were playing a giant hide-and-seek game (une partie de cache-cache) around villages. The boys had to find the girls. And then marry (épouser) them during the year! Useless to say that some games were fixed (truquées) in advance following small agreements (des arrangements) between lovers ;-)

At VidaLingua, we love Love. And thanks to apps such as French English Dictionary + and PhraseMates, hide-and-seek games can extend to the whole world! People can meet and enrich themselves with others’ language. Because love has no borders (frontières). And we are proud to participate in the destruction of linguistic barriers (barrières)!

Here is a bonus list of essential love phrases and expressions. Use them to woo somebody special or rekindle the love with your better half!

Je t’aime de tout mon cœur I love you with all my heart
Tu es l’amour de ma vie You are the love of my life
Tu es le soleil de ma vie You are the sunshine of my life
Tomber amoureux/euse To fall in love
Être éperdument amoureux/euse To be madly in love
Un coup de foudre Love at first sight
Sortir avec quelqu’un To date someone
Une histoire d’amour Love story
Rouler un patin To French kiss
Se faire des câlins To cuddle
Faire l’amour To make love
Je veux vivre avec toi I want to live with you
Je veux partager ma vie avec toi I want to share my life with you
Bague de fiançailles Engagement ring
Demander en mariage To propose
Veux-tu m’épouser ? Do you want to marry me?
La nuit de noces Wedding night
Lune de miel Honeymoon
Un amour éternel Endless love
Tu me manques I miss you
L’amour est un cadeau Love is an open door

Christine Ducos-Restagno
Lead French Linguist