What's in a Word | All Blogs

What’s the good word?

By Debra Dobbins

“Bon mot” is a French expression that came into English around 1730, according to the online version of the Merriam Webster Dictionary.

Translated literally, the phrase means “good word.” More broadly, it means a witty or clever remark.

We’ve kept the French pronunciation. In “bon” the “n” is barely pronounced, and in “mot,” the “t” is dropped.

So, the two words are uttered something like bohn MOH, with the emphasis on the second word.


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