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French Expression of the Day: Bon vent

French Word of the Day: Bon vent
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
This old nautical term still comes in handy today.

Why do I need to know the expression bon vent? 

Because this multifaceted phrase can be used to express many things.

What does it mean? 

Bon vent (pronounced “bon von”) can be used to mean “goodbye/travel well”. 

It is an old nautical expression that dates back to a time when ships were predominantly powered by the wind (vent in French). 

If the wind was blowing strong and headed in the right direction, sailors were more likely to arrive at their destination in good time. 

The expression is sometimes used ironically to tell someone to go away. Be careful with your tone of voice to avoid any confusion. 

Use it like this

Je te souhaite bon vent – I wish you good travels

Si c’est tout ce que vous voulez, bon vent – If that is everything you need, goodbye

Vas-y! Bon vent! – Get out of here! 

Synonyms

Bon voyage 

Au revoir 


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