French Idiomatic Expressions With 'Bon'

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The very common French word bon is an adjective that means "good" and is used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say tit for tat, cushy job, bright and early and more with this list of expressions using bon.

Remember not to confuse bon and its close sibling bien. Bon  and bienare often confused, because they have similar meanings and because both can function as adjectives, adverbs, or nouns.

Common French Expressions Using 'Bon'

à bon chat bon rat
tit for tat
à la bonne franquette !
informally; potluck
à quoi bon?
what's the use?; why?
ah, bon ?
oh yes?

ah bon
I see
avoir bonne mine
to look healthy
avoir un bon fromage
to have a cushy job
un bon à vue
demand note
bon anniversaire
happy birthday
bon appétit
enjoy your meal
bon après-midi
have a nice afternoon
bon chien chasse de race
like father, like son
bon chic, bon genre; BCBG
Literal translation: good style, good sort
Actual meaning: preppy, posh, prim and proper
bon courage
all the best; keep up the good work
bon débarras!
good riddance!
un bon de caisse
cash voucher
un bon de commande
order form
un bon de livraison
delivery slip
un bon de réduction
bon dimanche
have a nice Sunday
un bon du Trésor
Treasury bond
bon gré mal gré
like it or not

good day; good morning


Bon matin does not exist as an expression, except among friends in
French-speaking Canada. You would never say that in France to mean "good morning."
You would say bonjour.

bon marché
inexpensive; cheap

bon match
enjoy the game; have a good game
bon rapport qualité-prix
good value
bon retour
safe journey home
Bon sang ne saurait mentir.
What's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh.
good evening
(Note: one word, not 'bon soir')
bon voyage
have a good trip
bon week-end
have a good weekend
Bonne Année!
Happy New Year!
Bonne année et bonne santé!
Happy New Year!
bonne chance
good luck
une bonne fourchette
a hearty eater
bonne journée
have a nice day
bonne nuit
good night
bonne rentrée
best wishes for the new (school) year
bonne route
safe journey
bonne santé
stay well, keep healthy
bonne soirée
have a nice evening
bonnes vacances
enjoy your vacation
Les bons comptes font les bons amis.
Don't let money squabbles ruin a friendship.
de bon cœur
de bon gré
de bon matin
bright and early
en bon état
in good condition
L'enfer est pavé de bonnes intentions.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Point de nouvelles, bonnes nouvelles.
No news is good news.
pour de bon
for good; definitively; really; truly
s'en tenir à bon compte
to get off easy

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Team, ThoughtCo. "French Idiomatic Expressions With 'Bon'." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). French Idiomatic Expressions With 'Bon'. Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "French Idiomatic Expressions With 'Bon'." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 23, 2023).