On a dîné hier soir à la bonne franquette.

On a dîné hier soir à la bonne franquette.

aw nah dee-nay yair swaa rah lah bun frah-KET. Click below to hear this.*

Last night we had a simple family-style meal.

If I had invited you for dinner last evening, this is what you would have gotten. The menu was potato soup with a few toppings, and home-baked bread. That’s a real family-style meal–nothing fancy, pure simplicity. That’s a meal à la bonne franquette, which means simple, without ceremony, without fuss.

Many speakers of American English would convey this invitation by telling you, “You’ll have to take potluck.” That means that you will eat what’s put in front of you–whatever happens to be in the cooking pot tonight.

The word franquette exists only in this expression, but it is derived from franc, which means open, candid, straightforward, and so on. A meal à la bonne franquette means that your hostess has not gone to any special trouble for you, so you should not be insulted at being treated simply, as would a member of the family. On the contrary, you should consider it an honor to be welcomed in such a way.

*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file:



One response to “On a dîné hier soir à la bonne franquette.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s