Jour J

Le jour J French expression D-Day
Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

French Expression

MeaningD-Day, the big day
LiterallyJ day
Pronunciation [leu zhoor zhee]
IPA  [lə ʒuʀ ʒi]

Usage notes: The original meaning of the French expression le jour J is D-Day: 6 June 1944, the day the World War II Allied forces invaded Normandy, France. This is also known as the Normandy landings – le débarquement de Normandie.

The military terms le jour J and D-Day, along with l’heure H / H-hour*, indicate when an operation will occur. As you’ve guessed by now, the capital letter is just a repetition of the word: J stands for jour, D stands for day, and H stands for heure or hour.

Le jour J and, to a lesser extent, D-Day can also be used by civilians, as a figurative reference to an important event, similar to saying "the big day" in English. While jour J can be used for happy occasions like parties, D-Day is limited to events that one doesn’t look forward to, like a deadline, perhaps because it’s easy to imagine D standing for doom or disaster.

Par exemple…

Le 4 août, c’est le jour J. August 4th is the big day.
Le jour J est enfin arrivé ! The big day is finally here!

Synonym: le grand jour

 In business, jour J can mean simply "current"; for example, le stock jour J means "current stock."

* There’s also l’instant T – at a given moment. The T stands for temps. As far as I know, this is not used in the military, but rather physics.

 Related features

 Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Le jour J

Questions about French?

 Ask me in the comments section below or visit the Progress with Lawless French Q+A forum to get help from native French speakers and fellow learners.

More Lawless French

 Subscribe to my twice-weekly newsletter.

Support Lawless French

  This free website is created with love and a great deal of work.

If you love it, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation.

Your support is entirely optional but tremendously appreciated.