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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: Faire son miel

Surprisingly, this phrase has nothing to do with beekeeping.

French Expression of the Day: Faire son miel

Why do I need to know faire son miel?

Because you might want to describe how you were able to buy a new wardrobe after the airline lost your luggage.

What does it mean?

Faire son miel – usually pronounced fair soan mee-ell – literally means to make your honey, or to make your own honey. In practice, this phrase actually means to take advantage of a situation, usually by turning a profit or to get the most out of a situation. 

The phrase comes from the idea that bees are actually profiteers: they take advantage of flowers in order to make honey. In the 16th century, this phrase was first put into use, and it followed the idea that bees fly up to the innocent flowers and steal their nectar and pollen for their own purposes. People began to use this as a way to describe people who take advantage of others or particular situations for their own benefit, or those who take things that do not belong to them.

Though the phrase is tied to the idea of turning a situation around for your own benefit, it is does not necessarily have a negative connotation. It can be used both for physical profit, or intellectual. It is somewhat similar to the English phrase of ‘making lemonade from lemons’ – taking a bad situation and making something good out of it.

In fact, French actually has another phrase that is quite similar to this one: faire son beurre, which is potentially even older than faire son miel

Use it like this

La compagnie aérienne a perdu nos sacs, avec tous nos vêtements dedans. Nous avons pu faire notre miel de la situation et acheter un nouvel ensemble de meilleurs vêtements avec l’argent de la compagnie aérienne! – The airline lost our bags, with all our clothes inside. We were able to take advantage of the situation by buying a whole new wardrobe on their dime!

Les oiseaux font leur miel de tous les nouveaux arbres plantés dans la ville. Ils profitent de ce nouvel espace pour faire leurs nids. – The birds are taking advantage of all the new trees being planted across the city. They are enjoying the new space to build their nests.

Le politicien a fait son miel des fonds supplémentaires et en a utilisé une partie pour son propre projet de construction. Ils pourraient le mettre en procès pour corruption. – The politician took advantage of the extra public funds for his own construction project. They might put him on trial for corruption.