Definition of joual in English:


Pronunciation /ʒwal//ʒuːˈɑːl/


mass noun
  • A non-standard form of popular Canadian French, influenced by English vocabulary and grammar.

    • ‘This is the piece that caused a ruckus when it was first produced in 1968 because the characters spoke joual.’
    • ‘All in Québécois joual, meaning that non-francophones, and perhaps even some of the higher-brow ones, may need some kind of dictionary to translate them, should they so desire.’
    • ‘Michel Tremblay's 1967 succes-de-scandale, Les Belles-Soeurs, put him on the map, and the joual filled plays about high-spirited, working-class Quebecers that followed, quickly made Tremblay a cultural icon in his native province.’
    • ‘One French Canadian ‘dialect,’ called joual, is synonymous with the lower classes, or at least with loose pronunciation.’
    • ‘Layton's joual accent is cute, but his grammar was poorer than usual this time around, but he made some good points that at least tell Bloc voters that there are RoC politicians on their wavelength.’
    • ‘Distinctive and varied, it has a broad form known as joual.’
    • ‘Are the people who spoke and who continue to speak forms of joual and franglais, or English, not just such ambivalent travelers, existing between languages and identities, in the split temporality of the performative?’
    • ‘Or perhaps he's thinking of the French drawl called joual?’
    • ‘Moreover, 15 fevrier's modern dialogue, including plenty of joual, is one of several anachronisms that gives the picture raw immediacy and connects with its audience.’
    • ‘And when he talks about one Quebec foreign correspondent in Paris being far from the joual of his ‘childhood in Notre Dame de Grace’ anyone who grew up in NDG can only laugh.’
    • ‘I mean, you can sing in joual, too - look at Daniel Boucher or Charlebois.’
    • ‘He was French teacher to a nation, disdaining joual and speaking in a flowing, precise and elegant French that made him a joy to listen to even for those not far beyond the plume de ma tante phase.’


Canadian French dialect, from French cheval ‘horse’, apparently from the way cheval is pronounced in rural areas of Quebec.