All about the French idiom "Des bonbons ou un sort"

You are in the right place to learn all the things you ever wanted to know about the funny French idiom “Des bonbons ou un sort”.

Including a full explanation of what it is and how you can use it in a normal conversation with an audio example. But wait, we also sprinkled super useful stuff like dialogue example, literal meaning, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Oh and… on this page you will find our others idioms tutorials and the directory of all our French words tutorials on this page. Wishing you a happy learning!

Table of Contents

Artboard 1
Artboard 1
Artboard 1
Showcase of this quote from our Instagram account
Daily posts like this on Instagram → @all.french

French to English

Audio pronunciation

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean exactly?


  • Des bonbons → Candies
  • Ou → Or
  • Un sort → A spell

This is the French way to say “Trick or treat” during Halloween celebrations. Although, this expression changed a bit during the process of translation.

For an unknown reason: “A treat” became “Un sort” in French, which means “a spell / a cast“. Turning disguised kids into little magicians, brace yourself and give them candies!

How to use it

Halloween isn’t a very popular celebration in France, many people just skip it. So don’t be too surprised if many houses aren’t prepared for that and keep trying!

But for those who want to celebrate, the recipe is simple. Put on your best scary disguise, run to the next house, ring the bell and once the door is open yell: “Des bonbons ou un sort !“.

Then enjoy.

Dialogue example

Audio dialogue by French natives

Dialogue audio

Dialogue script

” Hello “
” Des bonbons ou un sort ! “
” Candies or a spell! “
Voilà vos bonbons, amusez-vous bien ! “
” Here are your candies, have fun! “
Showcase of this dialogue from our Pinterest account
More pins like this on Pinterest → @allbfrench