70 French Spring Words

Boing… boing… boing… 

Spring is right around the corner and I’m bouncing with excitement!

The days are getting longer. The temperatures are inching up.

Soon, Old Man Winter will be retreating to his ice cave to take a long summer’s nap.

Right now—before the chicks hatch and the baby bunnies are born, before the first new blades of grass brighten the earth, before the first crocus lifts its velvety violet head—now is the perfect time to learn French spring words.

We’ve got 70 of the most fun and fresh seasonal words to get your vocabulary in bright, beautiful bloom.

Faisons fête au début du printemps. (Let’s celebrate the coming of spring.)

Why Spring into This Vocabulary?

Spring is a vivid season, filled with color and growth—a perfect time to embrace new French words.

  • A burst of color: Vibrant spring words will add new life to your French vocabulary. Gone are the drab browns of autumn and the gray-and-white winter landscape. Learn to describe the splendor of the awakening world around you.
  • The poetic beauty of spring: Probably more than any other season, the radiance of spring inspires poetic expression.

Literary luminaries such as Théophile Gautier and Charles Baudelaire shared their unique visions in verse of the world in bloom. Through these poems, you’ll enrich your French vocabulary with expressive words you might not encounter in everyday conversation.

How to Have Fun Learning French Spring Words

The true beauty of spring is that it cannot be contained in lofty literary language alone. Spring is playful! Give some of these spring word games a try.

If you’re just learning these words, click on “Flash Cards” to review them one by one. The multiple choice and match-the-columns options can also help clue you in. If you’re bursting with confidence, click “Fill in the blanks” or “Hangman” for more of a challenge.

70 French Spring Words to Make Your Vocabulary Blossom

Let’s get hopping! Here’s a selection of words covering everything from weather conditions to flora and fauna.

We’ve included the gender along with nouns so you can use them correctly in context.

April Showers and Beyond

Spring weather can be quite a mixture of rain, wind, clouds and sun.

Comment peut-on parler du temps du printemps? (How can we talk about spring weather?)

Describing a Deluge

If there’s wet weather ahead, here are a few French words to help you through:

Pluie (f): rain

On peut espérer la pluie fine. (One can hope for a fine, gentle rain.)

Averse (f): rain shower

Mes vêtements étaient trempés par l’averse. (My clothes were soaked by the rain shower.)

Mnemonic: If you don’t like getting wet, you’ll be averse to rain showers.

Orage (m): thunderstorm

Chaque fois qu’un orage éclate, Mireille est effrayé d’un coup de tonnerre. (Every time a thunderstorm breaks out, Mireille is frightened by a thunderclap.)

Goutte de pluie (f): raindrop

La chute des gouttes de pluie tape un rythme sur le toit. (The falling of the raindrops taps a rhythm on the roof.)

Qu’il pleuve ou qu’il vente: rain or shine

Le marché aux puces sera lieu qu’il pleuve ou qu’il vente. (The flea market will take place rain or shine.)

Arc-en-ciel (m): rainbow

Nous voulons trouver la chimère qui reste à la fin de l’arc-en-ciel. (We want to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.)

Head in the Clouds

Rain showers may seem to come out of nowhere, but les nuages (the clouds) are really the culprits. And when you see the clouds, you might also feel some spring winds—anything from gentle breezes to robust gusts. 

Nuage de pluie (m): rain cloud 

Si vous voyez un nuage de pluie, vous savez que l’averse vienne. (If you see a rain cloud, you know that a shower is coming.)

Nuage d’orage (m): storm cloud

Il me semble que la foudre vienne directement du nuage d’orage. (It seems to me that the lightning bolt is coming directly from the storm cloud.)

Il fait du vent: it’s windy

Au mois de mars, le présentateur météo pourrait dire, “Portez votre cache-nez aujourd’hui, parce qu’il fait du vent.” (In March, the weatherman might say, “Wear your scarf today, because it’s windy outside.”) 

Rafale du vent (f): gust of wind

Quelquefois, quand le vent souffle, il y a une rafale du vent. (Sometimes, when the wind is blowing, there’s a gust of wind.)

Douce brise (f): soft/gentle breeze

La douce brise chatouille la peau. (The soft breeze tickles the skin.)

Fun in the Sun

Of course, there’s nothing like sunny weather in spring.

Le soleil brille: the sun is shining

Aujourd’hui, le soleil brille. Donc, on peut dire qu’il fait du soleil. (Today, the sun is shining. Therefore, we can say that it’s sunny.)

Éclaircie (f): sunny interval

Le ciel est partiellement nuageux aujourd’hui, mais il y a des éclaircies. (The sky is partly cloudy today, but there are sunny intervals.)

Rayon du soleil (m): sun beam/[ray of] sunshine

Je me chauffe aux rayons du soleil. (I’m warming myself in the rays of sunshine.)

Journée radieuse (f): radiantly sunny day

Après un hiver terrible, vous pouvez bien apprécier une journée radieuse en printemps. (After a terrible winter, you can really enjoy a gloriously sunny day in spring.)

Spring Fashions

With the variable weather in spring, you need to have the right wardrobe.

Weathering the Weather

First, you’ll need rain gear for all those April showers.

Imperméable (m): raincoat

Ton imperméable te garde sec pendant les déluges. (Your raincoat keeps you dry during downpours.)

Mnemonic: Your raincoat should be impermeable to water.

Chapeau de pluie (m): rain hat

Si ton imperméable n’a pas de capuche, tu auras besoin d’un chapeau de pluie. (If your raincoat doesn’t have a hood, you’ll need a rain hat). 

Bottes en caoutchouc (f): rubber boots/rain boots

En Angleterre, les bottes en caoutchouc s’appellent “wellies.” (In England, rubber rain boots are called “wellies.”)

Parapluie (m): umbrella

Un parapluie golf peut couvrir une poignée de personnes, mais un parapluie pliant est plus pratique quand on voyage. (A golf umbrella can cover a handful of people, but a folding umbrella is more practical for traveling.)

Strutting Down the Green Carpet

But spring isn’t all about rain. You’ll want to look your best when the fair days and sunny weather arrive.

Pantacourt (m): capri pants/short pants

This word is a portmanteau of pantalon court (short pants).

Pendant les années soixantes, l’actresse et icône française Brigitte Bardot a popularisé le pantacourt, qui reste à la mode en France aujourd’hui. (During the ’60s, the French actress and icon Brigitte Bardot popularized capri pants, which remain in style in France today.)

Ballerines (f): ballerina flats

Generally refers to the everyday shoe, not necessarily for a ballerina.

La marque Repetto produit une des plus biens connues ballerines du monde. (The brand Repetto makes one of the most well-known ballerina flats in the world.)

Chemise à col boutonné (f): button-down shirt

 Même les hommes portent le pantacourt, avec un tee-shirt ou bien une chemise à col boutonné. (Even men wear short pants, with a T-shirt or a button-down shirt.)

Robe bain de soleil (f): sundress

Les robes bain de soleil sont fabriquées sans manches. (The sundresses are made without sleeves.)

Chapeau de soleil (m): sun hat

Porter un chapeau de soleil est plus facile que porter une ombrelle. (Wearing a sun hat is easier than carrying a parasol.)

Hopping into Spring

Creatures great and small play a huge role in the spring season. Here are words to describe a few of the best-known bugs, birds and fauna.

Seasonal Creepers and Crawlers

Whether silent and slithering or hopping and chirping, insects find their way into almost every part of the spring landscape.

Papillon (m): butterfly

Les ailes de ce papillon ont un motif géométrique et multicolore. (The wings of this butterfly have a multicolored geometric pattern.)

Chenille (f): caterpillar

Après plusieurs métamorphoses, la chenille deviendra un papillon. (After several metamorphoses, the caterpillar will become a butterfly.)

Coccinelle (f): ladybug

La coccinelle élégante porte une robe rouge à pois noirs. (The stylish ladybug wears a red dress with black polka-dots.)

Grillon (m): cricket

À la fin du printemps, on peut écouter la chanson distinctive des grillons. (In late spring, we can hear the distinctive song of the crickets.)

Sauterelle (f): grasshopper

Une sauterelle peut sauter à une hauteur d’environ vingt fois la longueur de son corps. (A grasshopper can jump to a height about 20 times the length of its body.)

Spring Takes Wing

It’s a treat to hear the tweets of the birds of spring.

Rouge-gorge (m): robin

Quand on voit un rouge-gorge, on peut dire que le printemps est proche. (When we see a robin, we can say that spring is near.)

Oiseau-mouche (m): hummingbird

L’oiseau-mouche est autrement appelé “le colibri.” (The hummingbird is also called “colibri.”)

Loriot (m): oriole

Malgré de similitudes entre leur alimentation, leur plumage et leur taille, les loriots d’Europe et les loriots américains n’appartient pas à la même espèce. (Despite similarities in their diet, their plumage and their size, the orioles of Europe and the American orioles don’t belong to the same species.) 

Pic (m): woodpecker

Le pic noir utilise son bec à faire des trous au tronc de l’arbre. (The black woodpecker uses his beak to make holes in the tree trunk.)

Chicks, Bunnies and Lambs

Bugs and birds aren’t the only creatures associated with spring.

Poussin (m): chick

La marque “Peeps” commençait avec des confiseries de guimauve en forme de poussin. (The Peeps brand started with marshmallow confections shaped like chicks.)

Jeannot lapin (m): bunny rabbit

Also used to refer to Br’er Rabbit, Peter Rabbit and the Easter Bunny.

À Pâques, un jeannot lapin en costard livre des œufs colorés. (At Easter, a bunny rabbit in a suit delivers colored eggs.) 

Agneau (m): lamb

L’agneau est un symbole de l’innocence et du sacrifice. (The lamb is a symbol of innocence and sacrifice.)

Caneton (m): duckling

Le caneton n’était pas de tout moche. En fait, il était un cygne. (The duckling wasn’t ugly at all. In fact, he was a swan.)

Grenouille (f): frog

La grenouille, qui s’appelle Kermit, avait gagné le dévouement d’une certaine vedette porcine. (The frog, who’s called Kermit, had won the devotion of a certain porcine star.)

The Blossoming of Spring

After the cold desolation of winter, the flowers bloom and the new shoots of life spring forth from the earth.

May Flowers After April Showers

These spring flowers brighten the landscape with a profusion of color and fragrance.

Crocus (m): crocus

Ses pétales en velours brillants comme une améthyste, le crocus souhaite la bienvenue au printemps. (Its velvet petals shining like an amethyst, the crocus welcomes spring.)

Pâquerette (f): daisy

La petite fille a créé une guirlande de pâquerettes. (The young girl created a daisy chain.)

Mnemonic: The word pâquerette (daisy) looks and sounds a lot like Pâques (Easter)… and remember that daisies bloom around Eastertime.

Bouton d’or (m): buttercup

Le jaune vif du bouton d’or reflète sur ton peau. (The vivid yellow of the buttercup reflects on your skin.)

Violette (f): violet

Les violettes de Parme étaient des fleurs favorites de Marie Louise, la deuxième femme de Napoléon. (Parma violets were favorite flowers of Marie Louise, Napoleon’s second wife.)

The Darling Buds of May

Flowers aren’t the only plants to make their debut in spring. There are also several fruits and vegetables that come to our tables at this time of year. Among them are:

Asperges (f pl.): asparagus

Les jeunes tiges d’asperges étaient tendres et croquantes à la même fois. (The young asparagus stalks were tender and crisp at the same time.)

Concombre (m): cucumber

Des rondelles de concombre sur le sandwich étaient très rafraîchissants. (The cucumber slices on the sandwich were very refreshing.)

Fraise (f): strawberry

Ces fraises seront mûr pour la cueillette en mai et juin. (Those strawberries will be ripe for the picking in May and June.)

Rhubarbe (f): rhubarb

Cette tarte délicieuse est une combinaison parfaite du goût sucré des fraises et du saveur piquant de la rhubarbe. (This delicious pie is a perfect combination of the sweetness of the strawberries and the tartness of the rhubarb.)

Planting Time

If you’re going to be growing these popular spring flowers and plants, you’ll need to know garden equipment names and words for tending a garden in French.

Râteau (m): rake

On ratisse le sol avec le râteau. (One rakes the soil with the rake.)

Pelle (f): shovel

Cet outil est appellé “la pelle.” (This tool is called “the shovel.”)

Graine (m): seed

Des petites graines peuvent produire des grandes arbres. (Small seeds can produce large trees.)

Compost (m): compost

Dans les bonnes conditions, des restes décomposés de nourriture créent le compost. (Under the right conditions, decomposing scraps of food create compost.)

Arrosoir (m): watering can

L’arrosoir amène l’eau aux plantes. (The watering can brings water to the plants.)

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Spring To-do List

Make the most out of spring weather with these outdoor activities.

Don’t Resist Tent-tation

Camping and hiking often go together. Bring these essential words when you go:

Camping (m): camping

J’aime faire du camping avec mes amis chaque printemps. (I like going camping with my friends every spring.)

Tente (f): tent

Votre tente est votre maison au grand air. (Your tent is your house in the great outdoors.)

Sac de couchage (m): sleeping bag

Nous portons nos sacs de couchage sur le dos. (We carry our sleeping bags on our backs.)

Feu de camp (m): campfire

Les campeurs se réchauffent près du feu de camp. (The campers warmed up by the campfire.)

Randonnée (f): hiking

Quand je fais une randonnée, j’apporte une bouteille de l’eau et quelques barres énergétiques. (When I go on a hike, I bring a bottle of water and some energy bars.)

Piste de randonnée (f): hiking trail

Il a suivi la piste de randonnée au sommet de la montagne. (He followed the hiking trail to the mountain’s summit.)

Pack Your Basket

Sometimes you just want a little bit of nature… and a good meal. Get ready to go on a picnic!

Panier à pique-nique (m): picnic basket

Remplissez votre panier à pique-nique avec des fruits frais et des sandwichs. (Fill your picnic basket with fresh fruit and sandwiches.)

Serviette en papier (f): paper napkin

Vous pouvez essuyer une boisson renversée avec une serviette en papier. (You can wipe up a spilled drink with a paper napkin.)

Assiette en carton (f): paper plate

Des assiettes en carton sont plus pratiques pour un pique-nique que des assiettes cassables. (Paper plates are more practical on a picnic than breakable plates.)

Barbecue (m): barbecue/cookout/grilling

Souvent, les pique-niqueurs cuisent leur déjeuner au barbecue. (Often, picnickers cook their lunch on a barbecue.)

Fourmi (m): ant

Les fourmis sont les invités indésirables à chaque pique-nique. (Ants are unwanted guests at every picnic.)

Jump Those Puddles!

Whether done unintentionally or on purpose, puddle jumping is a rite of spring. 

Flaque d’eau (f): puddle

Pendant le dernier orage, j’ai marché dans une flaque d’eau. (During the last storm, I walked in a puddle.)

 Éclabousser: to splash

Plouf! est le bruit fait quand l’eau éclabousse. (“Plouf!” is the sound made when water splashes.)

Boue (f): mud 

Après avoir marché dans une flaque d’eau, j’ai eu des taches de boue sur mes chaussures de course. (After having stepped in a puddle, I had mud stains on my running shoes.)

Treats for Tweets

If you want to watch some of your feathered friends up-close this March and April, a bird feeder made out of plastic containers or wood is one way to lure them in. (It’s a help to the birds when seeds are still scarce after the winter cold, but you should put it away when summer comes and their natural foods are more abundant.)

Mangeoire à oiseaux (f): bird feeder

Elle a fabriqué une mangeoire à oiseaux en utilisant une bouteille en plastique. (She made a bird feeder using a plastic bottle.)

La mangeoire à oiseaux en bois alimente les oiseaux au début du printemps. (The wooden bird feeder feeds the birds in early spring.)

Graines pour oiseau (f): bird seed

Le millet et les graines de tournesol se trouvent souvent aux mélanges de graines pour oiseaux. (Millet and sunflower seeds are often found in bird seed mixtures.)

Suif (m): suet [a type of animal fat]

On peut former un gâteau pour oiseaux avec des graines et du suif. (We can make a cake for birds with seeds and suet.)


Whatever you do this spring, you now have a good foundation for enjoying it in French. And that’s bound to put a little extra spring in your step.


And one more thing...

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