salut (sa-lew) exclamation
1. hello!

[can also mean "bye bye!"]

salut (noun, masculine)
1. greeting. 2. wave (of hand) 3. nod (of head) 4. salute (military) 5. safety 6. salvation

un port de salut = a haven of refuge
L'Armée du Salut = the Salvation Army.

salut à tous! = hi everyone!
faire son salut = to find salvation
travailler à son salut = to work out one's own salvation
chercher son salut dans la fuite = to run for dear life
faire le salut militaire = to salute

A bon entendeur salut!
A word to the wise is enough!*

(lit. To the good listener, salvation)

A Day in a French Life...

In France, if you want to seem odd to the French, just say "Hello" one time too many in the course of a day. Les Français* don't understand the Anglophone affinity for repeating "Hello" at another point in a 24 hour time frame; the French say "Bonjour" once, point final.*

That said, the Frenchies have come up with a way to re-greet one another using the popular term "rebonjour."

Hélas,* after 12 years in this country, I continue to make the repeat-greet faux pas. The following conversation illustrates my point:

At 14 o'clock,* after a two hour lunch break, a colleague returns to the office where I work:

(Moi) "Bonjour Fifi!" * [Our caviste* looks at me perplexed]

(Fifi) "Mais... On ne s'est pas vus encore aujourd'hui?" 'But... haven't we seen each other already today?" he says, pushing a cheek forward to accept my greeting.

(Moi) "Ah oui, c'est vrai" "Oh yes, that's right" I say.

(Fifi) "Rebonjour alors!" "Hello again, then!" he says, content to put the matter straight (or content to be right, I'm never sure which).

*References: the quote, "A word to the wise is enough!" is by Benjamin Franklin; les Français = the French; point final = period; hélas = unfortunately; 14 o'clock = 2 p.m.; Fifi (fee-fee) short for "Philippe"; caviste (m) = cellarman

A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
Thank you for reading this language journal. In 2002 I left my job at a vineyard and became self-employed in France. "French Word-A-Day" has been my full-time occupation ever since. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on writing. My wish is to continue creating posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation.

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