When ns was functioning as an au pair because that an Italian family members in Turin, the three kids I looked after would begin every meal with a you re welcome chorus the Buon appetito! (Bon appetit! / Enjoy her meal!), one expression many Italians say prior to eating.

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IPA: /buòn ap·pe·tì·to/

The proper solution to this expression is grazie, altrettanto (thanks, likewise) or grazie, anche a car / voi (thanks, and also to you or you too).

La cena è servita! Buon appetito! – Grazie, altrettanto!

Dinner is served! gain your meal! – Thanks, friend too!


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Buon appetito is the specific equivalent that the popular French expression bon appétit i beg your pardon we’ve borrowed into English.

This phrase, which literally converts as good appetite, has been in use together far earlier as the center Ages. Throughout times the bountiful harvest or unique occasions such as weddings, servants would be invited to partake in the feast by high-ranking officials who would wish them buon appetito before eating.

When economic conditions improved in the subsequent centuries, buon appetito reinvented from an invite to the negative into a general exclamation the gratitude.


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Fast front to today, and also you space either in the buon appetito camp, or friend aren’t.

I’ve met countless Italians who would not begin their enjoy the meal without speak this expression. Yet there is a growing segment of the populace that feeling the phrase is outdated, also uncouth, together it harks ago to a time of class division. Some particularly dislike words appetito for its association v gluttony. In high course society, many prefer much more formal expression such as prego (please).

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No matter where girlfriend stand, over there is no question that buon appetito is still very much in use throughout Italy. Waiters say it through a gleeful laugh as they serve you your meal. Children say the to their parents. Hosts say it to your guests. It is not uncommon to say it between friends one of two people if you all go out for a pizza one night. Mine husband has actually said the pretty much all his life as a method of mirroring gratitude. In short, the legacy varies from household to family, also as an ar to region.

Whether a complete cultural shift away from this expression will occur within my lifetime has actually yet to be seen!