For members


French word of the day: Miam

Want to express your feelings about French cuisine? We have just the word.

French word of the day: Miam

Why do I need to know miam?

A simple word, often used by kids, it's also very common across France and a nice informal way to express your appreciation for a delicious dinner or snack.

What does it mean?

It means yum or yummy! As with yum, it's often paired so you will see the phrase miam miam everywhere – it's particularly common as a name for food trucks and street food stalls.

As with yum yum, it's a slightly childish phrase, but it's perfectly acceptable to say in informal situations if your hostess has just handed you a delicious plate of food, or you're describing the new delicacy at your local pâtisserie.

As an informal phrase, it might raise an eyebrow if you said it to the waiter in a Michelin-starred restaurant, but you won't ever cause offence with this phrase.

J'ai goûté des chouquettes à la crème pour la première fois ce week-end – miam miam! – I tried chouquettes à la crème for the first time at the weekend – yummy!

Miam – bouef bourguignon est mon préféré, merci – Yum, beouf bouguignon is my favourite, thanks. 

If you're into posting pictures of your food on Twitter or Instagram, #miam is a popular hashtag in France that will let you find fellow foodies.



Although usually used to describe food, you could also use it to describe a particularly attractive person.

Avez-vous vu cette photo de Yoann Huget dans le calendrier de l'équipe de France de rugby? Miam miam! – Did you see that photo of Yoann Huget in the French rugby team calendar? Yum yum!

If you want to see more French words or expression, head to our French Word of the Day section.


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For members


French Expression of the Day: Mettre le holà

This might look like a mix of Spanish and French, but it is definitely not Franish.

French Expression of the Day: Mettre le holà

Why do I need to know mettre le holà?

Because you might need to do this if your friends go from laughing with you to laughing at you. 

What does it mean?

Mettre le holà – pronounced meh-truh luh oh-la – literally means to put the ‘holà’ on something. You might be thinking this must be some clever mix of Spanish and French, but ‘holà’ actually has nothing to do with the Spanish greeting. 

This expression is a way to say that’s enough – or to ‘put the brakes on something.’

If a situation appears to be agitated, and you feel the need to intervene in order to help calm things down, then this might be the expression you would use. Another way of saying it in English might be to ‘put the kibosh on it.’

While the origins of ‘kibosh’ appear to be unknown, ‘holà’ goes back to the 14th century in France. Back then, people would shout “Ho! Qui va là?” (Oh, who goes there?) as an interjection to call someone out or challenge them. 

Over time this transformed into the simple holà, which you might hear on the streets, particularly if you engage in some risky jaywalking. 

A French synonym for this expression is ‘freiner’ – which literally means ‘to break’ or ‘put the brakes on,’ and can be used figuratively as well as literally. 

Use it like this

Tu aurais dû mettre le holà tout de suite. Cette conversation a duré bien trop longtemps, et il était si offensif. – You should have put a stop to that immediately. That conversation went on for too long, and he was so offensive. 

J’ai essayé de mettre le holà à la blague sur ma mère, mais ils étaient sans pitié. – I tried to put a stop to the joke about my mother, but they were merciless.