France: It's not sexting, it's textopornographie

December 20, 2013

France, a nation with a centuries-old reputation for seduction, now has a word for sexting.

If you want to send sexually explicit photos or text messages to your lover in France, it's called "textopornographie." That's the term recently chosen by the Academie Francaise, the respected institution that watches over the French language and regularly invents French terms for English or other expressions that have gone global.

The academy's Sophie Tonolo, a dictionary editor, says it was approached by the Justice Ministry for a proper term for because the phenomenon often comes up in legal cases.

It was one of many words published this month in a government legal database. It may not end up in the dictionary however, Tonolo said, if the fades.

Explore further: Hashtag goes Gallic in French lawbooks

Related Stories

Hashtag goes Gallic in French lawbooks

January 25, 2013

(AP)—The French government is redefining hashtag with a Gallic touch. The country that has an academy devoted solely to the use of the French language has given its official seal of approval to a new word for the Twittersphere: ...

Teens who 'Sext' don't dwell on consequences

December 19, 2013

(HealthDay)—"Sexting"—sending out sexually explicit text messages or photos by cellphone—is fairly common among teens, a new Belgian study finds. And peer pressure, the search for romance and trust that the recipient ...

How common is 'sexting' among urban minority youth?

February 28, 2013

Sexting, the use of technology to send or receive sexually explicit messages, photos, or videos, is a relatively new trend and, in many cases, has legal implications. As many as 25-50% of young people may participate in sexting. ...

Teen sexting, the gender gap

March 14, 2013

A survey of US adolescents reveals a gender gap in attitudes towards sexting and perceived harm.

Recommended for you

Experts uncover hidden layers of Jesus' tomb site

October 27, 2016

In the innermost chamber of the site said to be the tomb of Jesus, a restoration team has peeled away a marble layer for the first time in centuries in an effort to reach what it believes is the original rock surface where ...

Important ancient papyrus seized from looters in Israel

October 27, 2016

(—Eitan Klein, a representative of the Israel Antiquities Authority, has announced that an important papyrus document dated to 2,700 years ago has been seized from a group of Palestinian looters who reportedly ...

Ancient parrot fossil found in Siberia

October 26, 2016

(—A Russian paleontologist has discovered a parrot fossil uncovered in Siberia several years ago—the first evidence of parrots living in Asia. In his paper published in Biology Letters, Nikita Zelenkov describes ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (1) Dec 20, 2013
"textopornographie" - it kind of rolls off the tongue like a freight train derailment.
"Sexting" is SO much catchier.
not rated yet Dec 21, 2013
Nice country France--the language belongs to the State. And as for what ordinary people want to say--they can textopornographie off to the US.
not rated yet Dec 21, 2013
To the detriment of tweeters. How many times will that fit in a message?

An awkward, cumbersome word. French is one of the most beautiful languages today. As the languages of the world evolve, many to (ugh!) adopt new words from mongrel English, what will French end up looking like? Full of these homely, synthetic constructs?
not rated yet Dec 22, 2013
Paris isn't the city of love, its the city of sextopornographie.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.