|(photo by Let Ideas Compete)|
Adjective. Late 16th century.
[French: see BOON adjective.]
The French (masculine) for 'good', occuring in various phrases used in English.
The French are a funny lot that we love to begrudge: we begrudge them for their culture, their pride, their wine, their cheese, their manners, their football, their cinema and their copious contribution to the English language; we begrudge their cuisine, their art, their Parisian fashion and Paris itself. There is, however, one thing that we can never begrudge the French, and that's their language, a singularly beautiful, romantic, expressive and sensuous language that peels from the lips and melts into soul. Superciliously ignoring French during my school years is one of my greatest regrets, perhaps one that I will one day correct, but for now I will have to make do with some of the most beautiful expressions to have entered into English by way of bon, the French word for 'good'. And being bon, they're all rather delightfully upbeat and happy, which we need sometimes. Here are a select few of the loveliest bon words:
[literally 'good appetite']
Used as a salutation to a person about to eat.
[lit. 'good child']
bon gré mal gré
[lit. 'good will, ill will']
(Whether) willingly or unwillingly.
[lit. 'good word']
A clever or witty remark, a witticism.
[lit. 'good tone']
The fashionable world; archaic good breeding.
[lit. 'who lives well']
A gourmand, an epicure.
[pseudo-French after bon vivant, from viveur a living person]
A person who lives luxuriously.
[lit. 'pleasant journey']
Used as a salutation to a person about to travel.
|Even Parisian statues get fed up with how damn cool everything is|
(photo by Moyan Brenn)
Do you use any of the above expressions?
Do you have any other favourites?
Please leave your most Francophilic comments below. Merci!