bon sang

Jean-Marc, strolling with me through the town of Vacqueras.

I'm just going to steal one more photo ...from the upcoming Cinéma Vérité edition... before I get my act together, and figure out how to temporarily organize myself on my son's new computer after regaining power (and one new PC...) here at the farm. That's my husband, le vigneron(pictured above).  Just two days after he left for a multi-city USA wine tour, we lost all power back here at the grape farm. No electricity! (I knew Jean-Marc was taking the juice with him, but this is ridiculous!) PS: re the ASU t-shirt: I met my husband in 1990, while on an exchange program organized by Arizona State University. This photo was taken three weeks ago.

bon sang (bohn sahn) expression

    : dammit!, for Pete's sake, jeepers, for cryin' out loud....

There are many translations for "bon sang". A Google book search brings up a rainbow of equivalents. Today, I ask you to add your own translations here, in the comments box. Let's make this a big rainbow!


I was driving the kids to school this morning, giving thanks for the sun shining across the fields of vines (we've been without heat since Le Big Fry) and feeling lucky to be on time....

Our conversation was centered on le changement d'horaire,* something for which we were speeding to catch up with ever since, at 6:45 am I learned it was, in fact, 7:45 am!

"I didn't realize the time had changed!" I apologized to the kids.
"Oh, I knew about it," Max said.
"Me, too," his sister added.

Ah bon?* Well, the next time you have insider information like that, would you mind sharing it with me?"

As I looked into the rear-view mirror, to see whether anyone was listening, I noticed that my son was not wearing a seat-belt.
"Max! Put your seat-belt on... for goodness sakes!"

After a bout of silence, my daughter spoke:

"What does "goodness sakes" mean?" Jackie wanted to know.

Our child's question caught me by surprise.
"Goodness... means "something good". That's when it occurred to me that this half of the definition defeated our purpose (we needed to get those seat-belts on lest something bad happen!).

"Goodness sakes is something to say instead of saying a gros mot*!"

"Well, what does it mean?" Max asked, and, for once, I was certain that both kids were listening to me.

Goodness sakes? What, come to think of it, did "sakes" mean anyway? 
"It's like bon sang, I guess!"

I looked into the rear-view mirror and noticed that my son seemed satisfied with the translation, which he quickly shared with his sister, in English: "GOOD BLOOD!"

Well, it wasn't an exact equivalent, but it was exact in other ways, exact enough to make us smile like pirates as we sped forward into the future, leaving our cares farther down the time line.

*     *     *
Corrections, comments, or stories of your own... always welcome in the comments box. Merci d'avance. We love reading your words!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~French Vocabulary~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
le changement d'horaire (m) = time change; ah bon? = oh, really?; le gros mot (m) = cuss word

See hundreds of photos of France at Cinéma Vérité: your gift when you help support this French word journal. Click here to begin!
The first French bike my mom gave me. Can you tell that she borrowed it back? (that's her hat in the basket). Photo © K. Espinasse, from the French Word archives. 


French Clockmaker sign : a reproduction of an old French merchant's sign
Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves : made with no colorings, artificial preservatives, pulps, purees, juices or concentrates.
In French Music: "Au sourire de l'âme" by Pep's (recommended by my son, Max)

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