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For other uses of "Beur", see Beur (disambiguation).

Beur is a colloquial term to designate French-born people whose parents or grandparents are immigrants from North Africa.[1] It is also frequently applied to other Europeans with a North African origin, such as those in Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK. The word was coined using backslang by reversing the syllables of the word arabe, which means Arabic or Arab in French. For example, "arabe" becomes "a-ra-beu" then "beu-ra-a" and "beur" by contraction. The term is slightly familiar and not advised in formal speech with respect to etiquette though it will be used in the media. The term Beur is used to refer to all the Arabs from either Maghreb or Mashreq areas of the Arab world born in France.

Since the late 1990s, a lot of young people have used the twice-verlanised term rebeu as a synonym.

Since 1992, the BEUR.FM[2] radio station has broadcast nationwide (106.7 FM in Paris). It specializes in North African Arab music and other genres (funk, rap,...) discussion, and news.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beur. Larousse Dictionary. Accessed 2011-04-25
  2. ^ BEUR.FM. Accessed 201-01-11

Further reading[edit]

  • Nora Barsali, François Freland and Anne-Marie Vincent (Hg.): Générations Beurs. Français à part entière. Éditions Autrement 2003
  • Philippe Bernard: La crème des beurs. De l’immigration à l’intégration. Seuil 2004
  • Hafid Gafaïti (Hg.): Cultures transnationales de France. Des «Beurs» aux… ? L’Harmattan 2001

On Beur Literature:

  • Alec G. Hargreaves: La littérature beur: Un guide bio-bibliographique. CELFAN Edition Monographs, New Orleans 1992
  • Alec G. Hargreaves: Voices from the North African Immigrant Community in France. Immigration and Identity in Beur Fiction. Berg, New York/ Oxford 1991/1997
  • Michel Laronde: Autour du roman beur. Immigration et identité. L’Harmattan 1993
  • Laura Reeck: Writerly Identities in Beur Fiction and Beyond. Lexington Books 2011

External links[edit]