Combien de bises ?

Combien de bises
Nombre de bise(s) en France*
Créée par Morgan MAURICE
Licensed under Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Internationa license

How many bises?

The number of kisses varies by region and by other factors that are more difficult to pin down. Based on my own experiences,

  • Two bises (one on each cheek) is the most common.
  • Three bises is typical in Provence.
  • A friend I visited in Rouen gave me three bises the day I arrived and the day I left, but only two during the week in between.

The map here shows two regions that do a single bise and a few that do four.*

This may sound confusing – it is! Especially when a 2-kisser meets a 3-kisser – the former finishes and starts pulling away while the latter is turning their head again, ready for a third bise.

As with figuring out which cheek to start on, often the best thing to do is just hold still and let the French person do the bises.

 * The image featured here is a simplification of the much more detailed interactive map on Combien de bises fait-on chez les Français ? There, you can hover over any region to see the percentage of residents who do anywhere from zero to five (5!) bises and click through to a region to discover which side they start on and whether they do bises with men and/or women.

Bises à gogo

Listening exercises

 Related lessons

How many bises

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