Revenons à nos moutons

French expressions analyzed and explained

Sheep On Grassy Field Against Sky
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Expression: Revenons à nos moutons

Pronunciation: [reu veu no(n) ah no moo to(n)]

Meaning: let's get back to the subject at hand

Literal translation: let's come back to our sheep

Register: normal

Variations: revenons-en à nos moutons, retournons à nos moutons


The French expression revenons à nos moutons is from La Farce de Maître Pathelin, a medieval play written by an unknown author. The eponymous protagonist of this 15th-century comedy deliberately misleads a judge by bringing two cases before him—one relating to sheep and the other to sheets.

The judge is very confused and attempts to get back to the case about sheep by repeatedly saying mais revenons à nos moutons. Since then, (mais) revenons à nos moutons has meant "let's get back on track / back to the subject at hand/back on topic."


   Nous pouvons parler de ça demain ; pour le moment, revenons à nos moutons.

   We can talk about that tomorrow; for right now, let's get back to the subject at hand.


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Lawless, Laura K. "Revenons à nos moutons." ThoughtCo, Oct. 22, 2017, Lawless, Laura K. (2017, October 22). Revenons à nos moutons. Retrieved from Lawless, Laura K. "Revenons à nos moutons." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 24, 2018).