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Revenons à nos moutons

French expressions analyzed and explained


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Expression: Revenons à nos moutons

Pronunciation: [reu veu no(n) ah no moo to(n)]

Meaning: let's get back to the subject at hand

Literal translation: let's come back to our sheep

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Notes: The French expression revenons à nos moutons is from La Farce de Maître Pathelin, a medieval play written by an unknown author. The eponymous protagonist of this 15th-century comedy deliberately misleads a judge by bringing two cases before him - one relating to sheep and the other to sheets. The judge is very confused and attempts to get back to the case about sheep by repeatedly saying mais revenons à nos moutons. Since then, (mais) revenons à nos moutons has meant "let's get back on track / back to the subject at hand / back on topic."

   Nous pouvons parler de ça demain ; pour le moment, revenons à nos moutons.
   We can talk about that tomorrow; for right now, let's get back to the subject at hand.

Variations: revenons-en à nos moutons, retournons à nos moutons

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