Bon mot

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A bon mot [ bɔ̃ˈmo ] ( French bon “good” and mot “word”, ie “good word”) is a funny idea, a witty joke word, an apt remark or a successful saying in relation to the situation.

Bonmots are considered a sign of spirit and are part of the ability to move around in demanding company (see conversation ). A bon mot differs from the related aphorism primarily in the way it is conveyed: a bon mot is typically spoken, an aphorism is written. The bon mot is the quick-witted, witty remark in conversation. In addition, the aphorism emphasizes the inherent knowledge , while the bon mot usually focuses on the entertainment value.

Bonmots include spoken or written flashes of inspiration , (piquant) allusions , word games , paradoxes and ambiguities.

The English equivalent, which is increasingly displacing the French term in common parlance, is one-liner (short for one-line joke but not only related to jokes).



A bon mot Canrobert’s . In: The Gazebo . Volume 2, 1867, pp. 32 ( full text [ Wikisource ]).

Web links

Wiktionary: Bonmot  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Everyman's Lexicon in ten volumes . 2nd volume. Hermann Klemm Publishing House, Berlin-Grunewald 1929, p. 90
  2. The Volksbrockhaus . 10th edition. Leipzig 1943, p. 76