Many American communities, large and small, celebrate Mardi Gras in some fashion.

I've often seen Mardi Gras signs reading "Laissez les bons temps rouler." Something doesn't seem right to me. Should the sentence be, for example, "Laisser rouler les bons temps"? Or should there be another rendering entirely?

Would the sentence be phrased differently in, say, New Orleans or Montreal?

  • 2
    Just a small detail: You are unlikely to see this sing in Montreal as we don't really celebrate Mardi Gras. Apparently, they do celebrate it in Quebec city as part of the Quebec winter festival.
    – Vincent
    Oct 26, 2014 at 0:30
  • "Laisser les bons temps rouler" is a calc from English, according to Wiktionary.
    – Drew
    Oct 26, 2014 at 3:07
  • Laissez le bon temps rouler is indeed the translation for 'Let the good times roll'. Sep 26, 2022 at 5:37
  • Et en anglais, l'expression vient du titre d'une chanson de blues de 1946, Let the Good Times Roll Sep 26, 2022 at 14:53

4 Answers 4


Laissez les bons temps rouler is Cajun French, (a variety of French spoken in Louisiana) and I do not think it is used outside Louisiana or outside Cajun culture.
It is sometimes spelled Laisser les bons temps (or le bon temps) rouler but only Laissez les bons temps rouler is considered correct in Cajun French. This phrase is an incitement to have a good time, and only "-ez" or "-ons" endings can show this in French ("-er" ending being the mark of the infinitive, it is impersonal)

The phrase is a pure calque form English, in France the equivalent of "let the good times roll" would be:

Prenons du bon temps.
Que la fête commence.

Or for the younger generations:



Prendre du bon temps

La plus naturelle et simple expression qui vient à l'esprit.


En bon quebecois: Ayez du fun!

  • 1
    Ayez ben du fun.
    – MasB
    Sep 26, 2022 at 21:03

Je propose une autre traduction:

  1. Amusons-nous !
  • Bienvenue sur FrenchSE ! Vous devriez proposer une explication avec votre réponse pour permettre de la comprendre et justifier votre proposition. Pensez à faire un tour pour vous inspirer !
    – Yohann V.
    Oct 24, 2016 at 12:12

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