French Expression of the Day: métro, boulot, dodo

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
French Expression of the Day: métro, boulot, dodo
Photo: Depositphotos

'Métro, boulot, dodo' is a phrase that's hard to escape in France - particularly in the capital.


Why do I need to know métro, boulot, dodo?

If you're a city dweller living in one of France's major cities, then there will come a time when it feels like there's nothing more to life than métro, boulot, dodo.

So, what does it mean?

This phrase - literally 'commute, work and sleep' - is a great way to describe the 'daily grind' in French.
You'll hear people use it when they feel like they're living to work, and you might well find yourself cracking it out every now and then too. 
Métro, of course refers to the commute, boulot is an informal word for work, and dodo is baby talk for sleeping.
The phrase is so common that there is a trend for putting twists of the original onto bags, T-shirts and other knickknacks such as métro, boulot, apéritvo (commute, work and apéritif). 
Le quotidien des habitants des grandes villes c'est métro, boulot, dodo. - 'The daily lives of people who live in big cities is commuting, working and sleeping.'
Depuis ma promotion, c'est métro, boulot, dodo! - 'Ever since my promotion, it's been nothing but work, work, work!'
The expression was invented by French writer Pierre Béarn in a poem he wrote in 1951 in which he describes the daily rhythm of Parisians and other city dwellers. 
It also became one of the slogans of the May 1968 demonstrations that brought millions of idealistic students and striking workers to the streets.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also