The recent Presidential election produced a hilarious catchy phrase that cracked me up every time I heard (or saw) it. Back in 2008 when then President Sarkozy was glad handing people at the Paris International Agricultural Show, he had a brief but heated exchange with a man who did not want to shake his hand. Sarko lost his cool and uttered the now famous, "Casse-toi pauvre con!" phrase which his political opponents immediately seized upon and began using against him by creating posters and stickers with that exact phrase on it. Before I moved here I had only ever heard that the English translation of 'con' was 'asshole.' Thus, I thought Sarkozy was calling the guy a 'poor asshole.' However, in discussing the phrase with my French friends I discovered how wrong I had been. Con is actually one of the trickiest words to translate and has a myriad of different meanings depending on how, when and where it is used.
A 'jeune con' is a young fool. Someone with very little life experience.
A 'petit con' is a little moron. Probably a kid who is messing around.
A 'gros con' is just your basic moron (adult version).
'sale con' while the literal translation for this might be 'dirty bastard' it really means someone who has acted in such a way that other people got harmed for no good reason.
A 'vieux con' is an old fart.
A 'pauvre con' is an idiot or a loser and depending on the tone and context it can be anything from a buddy joke to raw insult.
Which brings me back to this fact: as the Merovingian in the Matrix Reloaded said
"I LOVE the French language. I have sampled every language and French is my favorite. Fantastic language! Especially to curse with. It's like wiping your arse with silk."