Do you say "Bon appétit"?

Just read this and had to re-post it here. What do you think? Good advice or total nonsense?

Obviously my French neighbours are in a world of their own… they often call “bon appétit” to one another …as we go our separate ways at mealtimes… :wink:


Had this before but in bog standard every-day French it’s normal, very normal -customers wish me and I wish them “bon appétit” late morning/lunch time and the same at closing time. Meals with family and friends (French) are the same. :wink:

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There are some phrases which are bandied about with great emotion… and yet, when I ask them innocently enough “say that again, please, I didn’t quite catch it”…:innocent:

well, dark mutterings, laughter and red faces all round…so I guess there are phrases much worse than “bon appétit” :grinning:

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When dining with les anglais it is customary to say “bon courage” rather than “bon appétit”.

:trumpet:ALL CLEAR


and how about “fatigué”…

OH was very ill when we first arrived…and folk would often ask after his health…he is tired I would reply…“Il est fatigué”… around here that phrase is mostly used when someone is sloshed… no wonder they would smile broadly at me.


depending on the English neighbours!!!

Je suis très fatigué aujourd’hui :wink:

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Now then @David_Naylor … it’s surely a little early… or isn’t it ??:laughing:

Yesterday I’m afraid. 11am till 10pm with friends, just got carried away (and almost carried home)


yeah english never say it when is see them at lunch but as french people arrive at the restaurant they always say it.

Sometimes these random facts people make up are so funny.

Its very french to say it as far as im concerned

It is “very french” to wish someone bon appetit when chatting and realise it is time for lunch or dinner, and you wish to nip off to finish your cooking the words i use are bon appetit and bye bye
Well it is 11 am so i wish you bon appetit to all.


Whenever we’re on campsites or aires and we’re sitting down to a meal outside, other campers or camping caristes who walk past, total strangers, say “bon appetit”. We do the same and people respond with big smiles (and sometimes the offer of a glass of wine!). So I really don’t know where that article is coming from.

Even when you’re out walking and you stop and sit on a river bank to eat your sarnies, passers by will say Bon appétit instead of Bonjour.


So, what do they say when they just want to say someone is tired?


Hi Paul… epuisé (exhausted) or indeed fatigué… and the last depends upon circumstances…and the conversation…

Fatigué with a fist pretending to grab the nose … is never misunderstood, no matter what the circumstances… definitely p****ed as a newt.

Sometimes I turn the conversation back on someone who really is tired… by doing the fatigué and fist bit in a questioning manner… and it often makes them laugh and lifts their spirits… :rofl:


Thanks, always useful to pick up some tips.

I’ve been neglecting my French recently - it’s hard to keep the impetus up when I am in the UK 90% of the time but I do get slightly dismayed by this sort of linguistic nuance.

Still, we say “tired and emotional” in English which is generally taken to mean “one or two too many” so I suppose it’s no different :slight_smile:

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Well Paul Flinders I did not know that fatigue means “sloshed” I will have to be careful and not look Fatiguer 'cos when friends ask OH the question comment va ta femme OH replies she is fatiguer , from now on i will try not look to tired.

Normally you’re fine using fatigué. It only means p155ed when said in a nod-and-a-wink kind of way. Although obviously you need to be aware of how it can be interpreted, just in case you do get someone who can’t resist adding innuendo to everything anyone says.

I have no qualms in telling someone I’m “un peu fatiguée” if I am, and it’s never seriously been misinterpreted.

OTOH I had a friend who had great difficulty with her French vowels and whenever she tried to say she was “seule” it more often than not came out sounding like “saoule”. Now that used to get her some funny looks.


The original quoted article was indeed a nonsense - the French would be lost without “Bon appétit!”.
Apart from the obvious usage between neighbours or across the table, or passing picnickers, it is the handy semi-apology to the next table in the restaurant when you have disrupted them a bit getting yourselves installed and they have already started.
Then when your waiter has finished going back and worth with bread, wine, water etc and puts down the first course, his “Bon appétit” is code for “that’s my bit done, you can get stuck in now” (note that for second and subsequent courses, the code changes to “Bonne continuation”).
If you have a late morning appointment with a professional - doctor, banker, notaire - he or she will routinely switch the normal farewell of “Bon retour” or “Bonne journée” to “Bon appétit” if the clock is approaching noon. What else would a sensible French resident be doing at that time of day?
It’s when you observe all these slightly different usages that you realise how much we lack a real equivalent in English - “Enjoy your meal” is just not flexible enough.
As a little related PS, I was once in Avignon where the senior waiters patrol the pavement trying to entice you into their various establishments. When I replied to one with thanks, but that I had already eaten, he intoned gravely “En ce cas, M’sieur, je vous souhaite bonne digestion” ……. and I think it was only semi-facetious.


As you say… a bad joke.