France's interior minister has become the latest prominent politician to make an embarrassing Freudian slip by extolling the virtues of "genital fingerprinting" to identify criminals instead of the more traditional genetic means of using the thumb.

Brice Hortefeux made the unfortunate syntactic mix-up in an interview on Sunday in which he discussed the types of data police keep for tracking criminals. "There are two major (types of police) files," he told RTL radio.

"There are genital fingerprint files and genetic fingerprint files." His faux pas came weeks after Rachida Dati, the former French justice minister and now a Euro MP, became a national figure of fun for confusing "fellatio" with "inflation" in a serious interview on foreign investment funds seeking quick profits...