The French saying "Tout ce qui brille n'est pas or"

You are in the right place to discover all the things you have to know about the basic proverb “Tout ce qui brille n’est pas or”.

Are included a complete explanation of what it mean and how you can use it in everyday life with an audio example. But wait, we also added super useful stuff like synonyms, slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!

In case you are interested, you will find more of these proverbs guides on this page plus all our guides about French words on this page. Happy learning!

Table of Contents

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French to English


Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean exactly?


It literally means:

  • Tout → All / Everything
  • ce qui → that
  • brille →shines
  • n’est pas → is not
  • or → gold


This proverb comes from the 17th century and is a translation from the latin → “non omne quod nitet aurum est“.

It means we should not judge only by appearances, because something can be very shiny without being a precious metal and vice versa. So basically, it means we should be cautious with first impressions.

This proverb is very similar to the English one: “All that glitters is not gold“.

How to use

The next time you see someone having a strong judgement only from his/her first impression, you can use “Tout ce qui brille n’est pas or” as a reminder that appearances can be misleading and shouldn’t be trusted.


  • L’habit ne fait pas le moine. (“The clothes don’t make the monk“)
  • La barbe ne fait pas le philosophe. (“The beard does not make the philosopher“)
  • Si derrière toute barbe il y avait de la sagesse, les chèvres seraient toutes prophètes. (“If there was wisdom behind every beard, goats would all be prophets“)



  • L’habit fait l’homme. (“The clothing makes the man“)

Dialogue example with audio

Audio dialogue from French people

Dialogue audio

Dialogue script

” Elle porte des vêtements de luxe “
” She wears luxury clothes “
” Oui mais… tout ce qui brille n’est pas or “
” Yes, but all that shines is not gold “
C’est vrai
” That’s true “
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