I have been struggling with translating this one into English. I had come across a conversation when someone mentioned it about his boss, and today online I came across a person mentioning it about her husband.

Based on my research, I think it probably means someone being golden, a treasure, a gem. Assuming those meanings will do, the problem is I'm not sure whether this is said sarcastically or seriously. In English, half the time it sounds sarcastic, perhaps because of the nature of the metaphor, especially if said about a man. "Oh he's a treasure/(real gem)!"

I am wondering if my translation is correct and also if the same kind of uncertainty regarding the intention of the speaker exists in French. Thank you.

  • 1
    AFAIK it is never used sarcastically.
    – Stéphane
    Oct 4, 2016 at 23:52
  • Merci beaucoup Stéphane
    – Jlente
    Oct 5, 2016 at 0:42

3 Answers 3


I have to disagree, it can be used in a sarcastic context (pretty much everything can actually).

Example: someone tries to sell you something 3x the price, you could say "wow, c'est une affaire en or !"

It depends on the context and the tone, as usual.

  • 1
    Are you sure about that ? I've never heard someone speaking sarcastically when using "en or"
    – Weedoze
    Oct 5, 2016 at 11:19
  • 1
    I agree that the tone and context could make this sentence sarcastic, but basically everything can be used sarcastically or ironically. IMHO "en or" is primarily positive
    – radouxju
    Oct 5, 2016 at 13:19
  • First sentence of this article from a well-known French sarcastic website: legorafi.fr/2013/03/01/… Exploiter un filon est une des règles d’or dans les médias.
    – Tom
    Oct 5, 2016 at 13:21
  • But I agree, of course most of the time it will be positive. It is just like any other positive word, it could be used ironically as well.
    – Tom
    Oct 5, 2016 at 13:27

I have come up with several sentences with the phrase "en or" or "d’or". None of them carries a sarcastic tone.

On peut ajouter l'expression "en or" ou "d’or" à la fin d'un nom pour signifier quelque chose de très avantageux ou utile.

  1. Je vois ça comme une opportunité en or pour acquérir de l'expérience professionnelle.

  2. Je viens tout juste de faire une affaire en or en en achetant deux au prix d'une seule !

  3. Voici un conseil en or à retenir : ne jamais remettre au lendemain ce que l'on peut faire le jour même.

  4. Ne pas télécharger quoi que ce soit à partir de sites web non fiables, c'est une règle d'or à laquelle je n'ai jamais dérogé.


I do not really know how to translate it in English but this sentence is french is 100% serious.

We say this to someone who is perfect for us (Husband, Wife, Boss,..) it can be anyone.

Mon mari est un mari en or ! Il est parfait !

On a un voisin en or ! Tout le temps là pour nous aider !

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