May 18, 2013

History Of A French Expression

In French, “Bonne Merde” (aka Good Shit) means good luck.  I’ve always known it, but until recently I didn’t know why that was.

Turns out that, back in the 19th century, when people went to see plays and the opera and other nightly performances, they got to the place in a carriage.  However, there being no parking lot, the horses got to empty their intestines right before the building until the whole area was covered in their feces.  Of course, in the dark (lighting wasn’t the best in those days), people couldn’t do anything but step in it and drag the poo with them into the theater.

And the more people came to see a play (or other performance), the more poo there’d be in the theater’s halls, which was therefore associated with success!

Therefore, if you end up in France or Belgium and someone tells you “Bonne Merde,” don’t get offended, they’re actually being very nice!

PS:  Over the years, the expression’s morphed.  Growing up, every time people stepped in poo it was considered good luck (and there I was thinking it was simply because there was dog shit all over the sidewalks!).

No comments:

Post a Comment