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

On this page, we are going to teach you everything you have to know about the funny French expression "Des bonbons ou un sort !". More precisely, this includes a full guide of what it is and how to use it in a conversation with an audio example. But, we also added some useful informations like slow pronunciation audio, literal meaning, dialogue example and more!

French to English

  • Translation : Trick or treat!

  • Literal meaning : Candies or a spell

  • Register : Informal - Funny - Celebration

Audio pronunciation



  • IPA : / de bɔ̃bɔ̃ u ɛ̃ sɔʁ ! /

aesthetic french quote bonbons ou un sort

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What does it mean exactly?


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.

Example in a dialogue with audio




Des bonbons ou un sort !

Candies or a spell!

Voilà vos bonbons, amusez-vous bien !

Here are your candies, have fun!

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