• Les bouchons lyonnais Garants de la tradition culinaire Lyonnaise
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    parler-lyonnais-cuisine-patois
    matefaim-rosette-abats-lyon
    fenotte-machon-gone-pot-vin
    gorgosson-bugne-clapoton
  • How to speak culinary Lyonnais

    This page will help you become a genuine Lyonnais!

    To feel at ease in a bouchon, this culinary glossary will help you understand how to speak Lyonnais.

    B for

    Bugne: a doughnut-shaped pastry.

    C for

    Clapotons: sheep or lamb feet cooked in a vinaigrette or rémoulade sauce.

    D for

    Doigts de mort (Fingers of death): peeled salsify.

    G for

    Galope-chopine: used to describe someone who likes to call into bouchons.

    M for

    Matefaim: sort of thick pancake which mate la faim (satisfies hunger), hence its name.

    O for

    Os de china: pig’s tail.

    P for

    Poule grasse (fat hen): popular name of lamb’s lettuce.

    R for

    Rosette: pure pork cured sausage stuffed into pink casing.


    Lyon sayings derived from cuisine. Here’s a small selection:

    • Il vaut mieux mettre son nez dans un verre de Beaujolais que dans les affaires des autres (It is better to stick your nose in a glass of Beaujolais than in other people’s business).
    • Tant quon na pas croqué la pomme, faut pas appeler une femme mon trognon (As long as you haven’t taken a bite of the apple, it is better not to call a woman ‘my core / my sweet’).
    • Pour que le vin fasse du bien aux femmes, faut que ce soyent les hommes qui le boivent (For wine to benefit women, it is men who need to drink it) .
    • Au travail, on fait ce qu’on peut, mais, à table, on se force (At work, you do what you can but when you’re eating you need to excel).

    Now that you are an expert in speaking Lyonnais, can you guess the meaning of the words in bold?

    It is not hard to choose between a fenotte and a good mâchon. Gone, don’t hesitate.
    Be wary of the last pot, as it’s always the one that gives you gorgosson.

    Answers :

    • Fenotte: woman.
    • Mâchon: traditional early morning meal based on pork products taken by the Canuts (silk workers) after work.
    • Gone: child.


    • Pot: unit used to measure liquids. In this case, refers to the wine carafe.
    • Gorgosson: heartburn, gastric reflux.

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    To fully integrate

    into an unfamiliar city, there is nothing better than learning about its history, culture… and local dialect!