French Idiomatic Expressions With 'Bon'

Bonne chance! Good luck! They are many French Idioms like this with 'bon.'

Panoramic of Notre Dame gargoyle and city of Paris
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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 bien are 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
coupon

bon dimanche
have a nice Sunday

un bon du Trésor
Treasury bond

bon gré mal gré
like it or not

bonjour
good day; good morning
Note: 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.

bonsoir
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
heartily

de bon gré
willingly

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