Saturday, February 7, 2015

Greetings and Salutations

Add to Google Reader or HomepageI am struck by the number of ways the French greet each other and the equally numerous ways in which they offer departing words.

Bon or bonne (good) figures in many of the phrases. There are the usual expressions that we have heard:

·         Bonjour (hello – not to be confused with ‘bonne journéewhich is more closely aligned with our  ‘have a nice day’. One would say for instance,  ‘bonjour’ on entering a shop and bonne journée when leaving the shop.)
·         Bon après-midi (good afternoon)
·         Bon soir (good evening – there is also bonne soirée – similar to bonne journée in inference. )
·         Bonne nuit (good night)
·         Bon voyage

There are also:

·         Bon anniversaire (happy birthday, happy anniversary)
·         Bon appétit (enjoy your meal – literally ‘good appetite’ [I know that, according to the lexicographers, ‘literally’ no longer means only ‘literally’ but can also be used when figuratively is the correct word – but that is another topic])
·         Bonne chance (good luck)
·         Bonne année (happy new year)
·         Bon weekend (yes, the French use ‘weekend’ as part of everyday parlance.)

I also hear: bonne continuation (happy rest of the day).

This week, it snowed. On Wednesday, we woke to about 10-12 cm of snow on the ground. Snow is rare in Vaison. I think that this snowstorm was the third time in the seven years that we have been coming here that there was enough snow to close the schools and many of the shops. Throughout the day, I heard people saying: “bon courage” (hang in there, take heart, good luck) as encouragement.

I wish all of you: Bonne journée! Bonne continuation and, for sure, bon courage.


  1. Vous remercier pour la bonne leçon!

  2. I love your post! I have thought about this too but never got around to writing a post! Well done. I am going to share this on my Sablet House Facebook page.