Explanation of the French Expressions: Le Jour J

Arromanches-les-Bains with remains of the 'Mulberry harbour', D-Day 1944, Normandy/ France

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The French expression le jour J (pronounced [leu zhoor zhee]) literally refers to D-Day, 6 June 1944, when the Allies invaded Normandy, France during World War II. More generally, both le jour J and D-Day can refer to the day any military operation will occur. The J stands for nothing more exciting than jour. Its register is normal.

Beyond the military, le jour J is used figuratively for the date of an important event, such as a wedding, graduation, or contest; it is equivalent to "the big day" in English. (While D-Day can also be used figuratively, it is much less common and is limited to less than joyous occasions, such as deadlines and visiting your in-laws.)


   Samedi, c'est le jour J.
   Saturday is the big day.

   Le jour J approche !
   The big day is almost here!

Synonym: le grand jour