Thursday, March 18, 2010


Not giving a shit is stereotypically french. There is no doubt about that. The French have gone as far as devising a nifty little phrase to give notice of their indifference: 'bof'. Throughout the country, it serves as the universal, all-encompassing answer to any odd or even questions asked. Up to 95% of all 'bofs' come with a similarly typical 'Gallic Shrug':

Despite the not-so-french simplicity and briefness, this inconspicuous verbal discharge comes in a number of forms, and thus, it may hold various different meanings, according to the way it is delivered. 'Bof' can be pronounced with or without vowels (e.g. 'bbrrrffl'). It can be a snotty statement of disapproval, an artfully prolonged expression of helplessness or just an apathetic  way of disclosing pure lack of enthusiasm.  

Yesterday, I was on the receiving end of a world-class 'bof' when I asked the waiter whether he had some mayonnaise to go with my french fries. Very apparently he didn't. I felt like I had just asked for ice cubes to go with my Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape. When turning back to my french colleagues, looking for answers, all I got was... you know... 'bof'.   


  1. Hello Nic!
    What's up? Are you on long vacations or on strike (illustrating how dramatically fast you have adopted the French attitude?) You know, there are readers out there waiting for your posts! I know that this year the calendar is not granting 4-working day weeks in a row in May... but maybe is there anything that spring brings that is ticklishing your mind? Maybe are you writing a novel about house hunting & move?
    Anyway, hope all is well... enjoy la vie!