Discover the French expression "Ça coûte bonbon"

Ready to find out everything you need to know about the basic idiom “Ça coûte bonbon”?

More precisely, it includes a detailed explanation of what it is and how you can use it in a dialogue with an audio example. And because learning a new language is important, we also added super useful stuff like synonym, dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Oh and before I forget, you can also find more of these idioms explained on this page and the directory of all our French words pages on this page. Ready to learn? C’est parti ! (Let’s go!)

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

French to English translation

How to pronounce?

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does ça coûte bonbon mean?


The literal meaning is:

  • Ça coûte → It costs
  • bonbon → candy

This French expression means “It’s very expensive”. Its origin isn’t clear but one common theory is that “bonbon” (candy) is an image for genitals.

How to use it

Don’t forget that it’s a vulgar expression and you shouldn’t use it in formal contexts, even though there is an even more vulgar version: “Ça coûte la peau du cul” (It costs the skin of the ass).

In case you are not sure, you can stick with the neutral way to express this idea: “Ça coûte une fortune” (It costs a fortune) or even simpler “Ça coûte très cher” (It’s very expensive).

Synonyms and similarities

  • Ça coûte très cher → It’s very expensive (Neutral)
  • Ça coûte une fortune → It costs a fortune (Neutral)
  • Ça coûte la peau du cul → It costs the skin of the ass (Vulgar)
  • Ça coûte la peau des fesses → It costs the skin of the ass (Vulgar)
  • Ça coûte une jambe → It costs a leg (Informal)
  • Ça coûte un rein → It costs a kidney (Informal)
  • Ça coûte bonbon → It costs candy (Informal)
  • Ça coûte une blinde → It costs a lot (Informal)
  • Ça coûte les yeux de la tête → It costs the eyes of the head (Informal)

Example in a story with translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this idiom in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Le prix de la crédulité
The price of credulity
Jacques arrive dans l’appartement.
Jacques arrives in the apartment.
Alice le voit. Il a l’air énervé…
Alice sees him. He seems pissed off…
Jacques:   J’ai fait une erreur stupide !
I made a stupid mistake!
Alice:   Qu’est-ce que tu as fait ?
What did you do?
Jacques:   J’ai acheté le dernier MacBook Pro…
I bought the latest MacBook Pro…
Alice:   Mais
ça coûte bonbonLiterally: It costs candy
But it’s expensive!
Jacques:   Oh, je sais ! Mais la vendeuse dans le magasin était si gentille avec moi.
Oh, I know! But the salesperson in the store was so nice to me.
Alice:   Tu as dépensé autant d’argent parce que quelqu’un était gentil avec toi ?!
You spend so much money because someone was nice to you?!
Jacques:   Eh bien, elle m’a expliqué comment…
Well, she explained to me how…
Get access to 365 French Texts and Quizzes

Become a member to access the full version of 365 texts and quizzes! 

Already a member? Login here