la vache

« Back to Glossary Index

La vache

La vache means “the cow” in most contexts, but if you see it used as a standalone phrase or with a word like ah or oh, it’s the French equivalent of the expression “Holy cow!”

As with “holy cow”, La vache is fairly informal but not obscene or slang, so it can be used in most everyday, informal situations. Also like its English equivalent, it can be used to express a range of emotions, from impressed, to surprised, to horrified.


  • Holy cow!

Alternative forms


  • oh là là
  • Whaou !

Example sentence

La vache !

Holy cow!

La vache, ils ont marqué un but !

Holy cow, they just scored a goal!

Ah la vache, il lui a demandé de sortir avec lui !

Holy cow, he just asked her out!

« Back to Glossary Index