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?


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.


The expression is still in use!

I mean for adult people, who speak some educated language versus some common one, and is the equivalent to say: 'Boire en juif', thus, it's no more well sawn to make reference indeed to jewish supposed attitude:(!

  • 1
    I'm 35 years old, speak quite a good French, and NEVER heard or read this idiom. You learn something new everyday they say... – Laurent S. Jan 22 '15 at 14:01
  • Is it possible to clarify this. Boire comme un suisse is 1640 and and its derivatives are assessable. Boire en juif comes from where? Nowhere. – user3177 Jan 22 '15 at 22:49
  • I'm a 26 years old native french speaker and never heard that expression. I'm not sure that a lot of people would understand it if someone told them that... :/ – Djouuuuh Jan 23 '15 at 11:53
  • I heard both of them. Manger en juif refers to a hypotetic cheapskate behaviour of jewish people. Sometimes it's replaced by en Suisse to avoid any antisemitism accusation. Plus, it rhymes. – TCHdvlp Jan 23 '15 at 16:48
  • I am Swiss and never heard of it... – Josh Aug 11 '17 at 15:23

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