When chatting online with French people, I often see "re". What does it stand for?

Is it like "brb" (be right back) ?

  • I used to use it for "I'm back" = je suis de REtour but I'm not sure i was using it correctly.
    – Papa Poule
    Feb 14, 2015 at 19:54
  • 3
    When someone come back after being away he may say "Re" as an English speaker could say "I'm back". It come from "Re-bonjour" which is a slang term for "Hello again". The prefix "re" means "again".
    – AdrienXL
    Feb 14, 2015 at 21:51
  • I've also seen "Je re" (je reviens) for BRB, and from the "revenir" sense of "je re," "re" all alone, still signifying "I'm back," could also be short for "Revenu(e)," which in turn could be short for "Je suis revenu(e)."
    – Papa Poule
    Feb 15, 2015 at 0:40
  • "re" est aussi l'abréviation d'une reconnexion. Dans les anciens système de chat où l’inactivité déconnectait systématiquement les participants dans un salon, Lorsqu'on revenait au bout de quelques minutes, on ne pouvait plus communiquer, il fallait cliquer sur le bouton "reconnexion". Et tout simplement dans les chat un peu plus récents, quand quelqu'un quittait une conversation, il disait simplement, je me reconnecte tout à l'heure.
    – TCHdvlp
    Feb 17, 2015 at 10:00

2 Answers 2


You would use "re" also in person on an informal level when meeting someone you already have greeted on that day ("Bonjour !") and want to repeat... ("Re-bonjour"). The chat use seems parallel to the common practice.

  • Do you mean this? A: Bonjour ! B: Re ! Feb 16, 2015 at 17:07
  • 3
    Not exactly. I meant A and B have already met and exchanged greetings this day and they meet again: A: Re! B: Re!
    – GAM PUB
    Feb 16, 2015 at 18:36


As you can see here, "RE" comes from "de retour" - I'm back.


As Laure commented, we can add "re-bonjour" which means "hello again" and is similar to "I'm back".

  • 2
    very cool and helpful list!
    – Papa Poule
    Feb 15, 2015 at 12:13
  • 2
    Or re-bonjour. When I use it I always use it as re-bonjour.
    – None
    Feb 15, 2015 at 16:09
  • Merci, I edited my answer and added yours.
    – Barthy
    Feb 15, 2015 at 16:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.