Bonhomme de neige, the French phrase for snowman, is a contraction of the words, BON (good) and HOMME (man) with NEIGE which, of course, means snow! This is often shortened to just BONHOMME. The English language uses the word bonhomie to describe a “good nature,” or a “pleasant manner.”
Did you know that a snowman, BONHOMME CARNAVAL (boh-NUM car-na-VAL), is the mascot of the world’s largest winter carnival? Quebec City in Canada hosts an annual winter carnival that attracts tourists from all over the world. This celebration of ice, snow and unique winter sports also showcases the bonhomie (BAH-nuh-MEE = good nature) and joie de vivre
(ZHWAH* duh VEE-vruh = joy of life) for which French Canadians are famous.
To see pictures of Bonhomme and learn more about the Quebec winter carnival, visit the official website of the Quebec Winter Carnival at:
To view the page in English, click the link at the top right.
*ZH represents the sound made by the “s” in usual, or the “g” in beige.
Please note that all pronunciation guides give only approximations of the French sounds. There are many sounds in French that have no English equivalents!