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Wait, It's Apparently Really Rude to Say ‘Bon Appétit’

PureWow logo PureWow 8/14/2018 letters@purewow.com (Roberta Fiorito)
a group of people sitting at a table with food © Twenty20

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 appetit” 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. 

Related video: 11 Fine-Dining Etiquette Rules You've Probably Broken Your Whole Life (Provided by Food & Wine)

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