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French expression of the day: Nuit blanche

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French expression of the day: Nuit blanche
09:55 CEST+02:00
Whether you're planning a night on the tiles or want to complain about being tired, this will come in handy.

Why do I need to know nuit blanche?

If you're in Paris you will see this a lot this weekend, but the phrase also has a more timeless and general meaning that makes it worth knowing.

What does it mean?

Its literal translation is 'white night' but when its used in French it means a sleepless night. It can be used in a positive sense if you're staying up until the dawn and going to an all-night event or in a negative sense if you want to have a moan about not getting a wink of sleep the night before.

The reason why it will seem familiar to those in Paris is that the city hosts an annual Nuit Banche in which the museums and art galleries stay open all night and there's a programme of all-night events. This year it is on Saturday, October 5th - if you're in Paris you can find out more about it here.

 

But the phrase itself can be used all year round if you've had a night that hasn't involved much shut-eye.

AprÚs une nuit blanche avec le bébé, il il était en retard au travail ce matin - After a sleepless night with the baby, he was late for work this morning.

Il a enduré de nombreuses réunions tortueuses et qui ont fait une nuit blanche à Luxembourg pour tenter d'arriver à un résultat - They went through numerous torturous meetings and lost a night's sleep in Luxembourg trying to get this result.
 
Il y a une grande variété de musique réservée pour la nuit blanche - There's a great variety of music booked for the all-nighter.
 
For more French words and expressions, head to our French word of the Day section.
 
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