Revenons à Nos Moutons

French expressions analyzed and explained

Sheep On Grassy Field Against Sky

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Expression: Revenons à nos moutons.

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

Etymology

The French expression revenons à nos moutons, which is a common expression, 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."

Example

  •    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.