I have seen "manger/boire en suisse" listed as an idiom to mean to eat/drink alone.

My question(s):

  • Is "manger/boire en suisse" an idiom that is still in use today?

  • Could this idiom also be mistaken to mean: eat/drink in Swiss?

2 Answers 2


It's quite an old expression and is seldom used nowadays. It comes from a cultural difference: When among friends in public places (bar, pub...) the French often, in turn, "paie la tournée" - pay a round. When in the Germanic cultures each pay for his own drinks as a more general rule.


"Manger/boire en suisse" refers to the Vatican Swiss Guards who had to eat/drink standing (alone) while on their watch guard. - Hussein FAKHRY


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