The True Meaning of ‘Bon Appétit', And Why it's Rude to Say

You’re an amazing dinner party hostess: You have an eagle eye for drinks that need refreshing (“You were having the Syrah, is that right?”), you keep the charcuterie board stocked in case the cheddar’s running low, and your master bathroom is officially a coat check.

Yep, you’ve got this whole entertaining thing down to a science—except, you may be starting off the main event all wrong. Here’s why.

According to etiquette expert and Plaza Hotel finishing school teacher Myka Meier, you shouldn’t be wishing guests “bon appétit” before they dig in. Wait, what?!

Apparently, Meier, who’s also the official etiquette partner for Downton Abbey (casual), says the French phrase is actually highly impolite. Supposedly, it is equivalent to "good digestion," which would be improper...because bringing up someone’s bowels at the dinner table is off-limits. (Who knew?)

You should instead say "please enjoy" before guests begin eating, which is the more proper way of kicking off a meal. And here we thought we sounded so worldly for throwing around a little French…

The more you know. 

8 Ways You’re Being a Crappy Houseguest (and What to Do Instead)


Director, Branded Content + Cohost, Royally Obsessed Podcast

As Director of Branded Content at Gallery Media Group, Roberta helps oversee the ideation and execution of sponsored content and experiential campaigns across PureWow and ONE37pm...