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French phrase of the day: A la bonne franquette

French phrase of the day: A la bonne franquette
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
This phrase is for those who appreciate the simple things in life.

Why do I need to know à la bonne franquette?

It’s important to know so that you don’t turn up to a casual dinner dressed for a black-tie gathering.

What does it mean?

Fare quelque chose à la bonne franquette means doing something informally, without fuss. It’s often used in the context of a meal, where you throw something together and enjoy each other’s company, rather than worrying about cooking something complicated and creating a formal occasion.

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You might hear it over the summer, when people invite friends or family over for a gathering, but don’t want them to come expecting a fancy meal.

According to the writer Claude Duneton, the term franquette developed in parallel to the word franchement (frankly). The expression à la bonne franquette was supposedly created to contrast with à la française (the French way), meaning “luxuriously” and “with lots of arrangements”.

Use it like this

Vous venez à la maison vendredi ? Je ferai quelque chose mais ce sera vraiment à la bonne franquette – Do you want to come over on Friday ? I’ll put something together, but it’ll be very simple.

Je préfère un barbeuc à la bonne franquette plutôt que d’aller au resto – I prefer a relaxed barbecue rather than going to a restaurant.

Synonyms

Sans chichi – with no fuss

En toute simplicité – simply


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