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Bof – Meaning & Translation – Meh, nah in French

Bof – Meaning & Translation – Meh, nah in French

Today we’ll have a look at one of my all time favorite French words: “bof!”. This is actually more of a sound than a word and means”meh” and “nah”. It is used to describe mediocrity and suggest that something is just so-so.

bof

meh

Bof in French means "meh" and "nah".

Bof meaning: meh, nah

Word origin

According to Aladyinfrance.com, bof is an acronym for beurre, œufs, fromage (butter, eggs, cheese), dating back to the early 20th century. A French definition for bof on the site Languefrancaise.net is: “Interjection of indifference, inenthusiasm, dissatisfaction, inevitability, evasive response”.

Example sentences

This first example sentence is based on a real-life experience. In 2022, I went to Douai, France to visit my former host father from when I was an exchange student in 1991. After coming out of the movies he was asked whether he liked the movie we’d just watched. This example sentence is based on his reply.

Tu as aimé le film Avatar? – Bof, pas vraiment. C’était bruyant !

Did you like the movie, Avatar? – Meh, not really. It was noisy!

This next example sentence plays into how the French often stereotype American cooking. I don’t want to admit it but sometimes I feel that the French are right!

Tu aimes la cuisine américaine ? – Bof, pas vraiment. Ils ne savent pas cuisiner, les américains.

Do you like American cooking? – Meh, not really. The Americans don’t know how to cook.

Conclusion

Et voilà ! Now you know how to use bof in French! Now check our or lesson covering alors (so, then), a word that’s inserted into conversation with multiple usages.

How to use "bof" in French: Tu as aimé le film ? - Bof. = Did you like the movie? - Meh.
Tu as aimé le film ? – Bof. = Did you like the movie? – Meh.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site, FrenchLearner.com, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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