Many of you will, I am sure, have used the expressions "Bon Voyage" and "Bon Appétit". They are 2 French expressions that have slipped effortlessly into the English language and are used as much in English now as in French. Quite literally Bon Voyage means Good Journey and Bon Appétit means good appetite where-as what they actually mean is "Have a good/safe journey" and "Enjoy your meal".
Here in France you will hear any number of "Bon" expressions and popular ones include:
- Bon courage - good luck or keep up the good work
- Bonne chance - good luck
- Bonne continuation - carry on enjoying what-ever it is you are doing or best wishes
- Bon week-end - have a good week end
- Bonne Année (often coupled with Bonne santé) - Happy New Year
- Bonne santé - stay healthy
- Bonne promenade - have a good walk
- Bonne soirée - have a good evening
- Bonne rentrée - good luck with the return to the new school year
- Bonnes vacances - have a good holiday
- Bonne journée - have a good day and said by practically everyone when you say goodbye.
Then there are some more idiomatic ones which I really like and must try and use more:
- à bon chat bon rat - tit for tat (literally, to a good cat, a good rat)
- de bon matin - bright and early
- L'enfer est pavé de bonnes intentions - The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
- de bon cœur - heartily (literally, of good heart)
- une bonne fourchette - a hearty eater (literally, a good fork)
- avoir un bon fromage - to have a cushy job (literally, to have a good cheese)
If you are shopping you may well come across these expressions:
This is just a small number of French expressions with bon included. Do you know any more that I should try to get into my every day speech? In the meantime may I just wish you a ...
Un bon d'avoir - a credit voucher, often given if you have taken goods back to the shop Un bon de caisse - a deposit receipt Un bon de commande - an order form Un bon de livraison - a delivery slip Un bon de réduction - a money off voucher/coupon