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Old 26.02.2008, 15:24
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[French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

Since the runup to the October elections many articles discussing the prospects (and, later, the results) of the socialist party commented on a split between "les syndicalistes" and "les bobos". Obviously the former are the trade unionists. I suspect that the latter are the better off folks with "liberal" (in the Anglo-Saxon meaning of the term) leanings. Is that so?

In any case, where does the term come from? I have always associated it with mothers soothing their young children who had "un petit bobo" like a scraped knee.

I was prompted finally to ask the question by this sentence in Interview de Christian Levrat, futur président du Parti socialiste suisse:
Quote:
swissinfo: On a parfois reproché au PSS de se couper de sa base – les classes populaires – pour devenir avant tout le parti des «bobos».
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Old 26.02.2008, 15:33
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Re: [French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

Bourgeois - bohème.
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Old 26.02.2008, 15:56
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Re: [French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

Many thanks, I was fixated on trying to understand how "bobos" as in "little hurts" could apply to any group.

No wonder that the "partnership" between "les syndicalistes" and "les bobos" is, at best, uneasy

Now for a follow up question: In phrases like "le partenariat vert/rose" does the word "rose" refers to the flower (symbol of the party),


or the color (as in "pinko", in US speak)? I am pretty sure it refers to the flower, but might as well ask.
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Old 26.02.2008, 16:06
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Re: [French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

Actually a little bit of both, since the Socialists hold a watered-down version (i.e. pink) of the Communist message (red) .

In general it is in reference to the color.
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Old 26.02.2008, 16:12
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Re: [French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

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Bourgeois - bohème.
... which I first ran into in the States, in "Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class And How They Got There" (Brooks, 2000). I believe the french picked up the term from him, however it does seem to have more currency in french than in english; anyone know which language was the origin?
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Old 26.02.2008, 16:58
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Re: [French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

Thanks for the mention of the Brooks book!

I somehow missed the book at the time it came out, am in the process of ordering it from Amazon in a separate tab

From the author's Introduction:
Quote:
Throughout the twentieth century it's been pretty easy to distinguish between the bourgeois world of capitalism and the bohemian counterculture. ... But I returned to an America in which the bohemian and the bourgeois were all mixed up. It was now impossible to tell an espresso-sipping artist from a cappuccino-gulping banker.
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Old 26.07.2009, 21:35
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Re: [French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

A few days ago I ran into a very similar term, new to me, la gauche caviar. No need to ask what that means Article was L’influence de Carla sur la politique. It seems to be in wide use, though I had never run into it previously.
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Old 26.07.2009, 22:34
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Re: [French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

There's a similar expression in Swiss German: "Cüpli-sozialisten". A Cüpli is a glas of champagne.
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Old 26.07.2009, 23:20
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Re: [French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

The French version of Wikipedia gives a short list of equivalents in other languages. Well worth looking at
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Old 26.07.2009, 23:53
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Re: [French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

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A few days ago I ran into a very similar term, new to me, la gauche caviar. No need to ask what that means
It was a quite popular term during the 14 year "reign" of Mitterand.
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Old 27.07.2009, 01:18
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Re: [French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

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It was a quite popular term during the 14 year "reign" of Mitterand.
I was going to say that

It isn't used as much as it was in the 80s, 90s about people like Bernard Tapie, Bernard Kouchner, Jacques Attali...

I think the difference between "gauche caviar" and "bobos" is that gauche caviar was mostly used to talk about high profile members of the french socialist party while bobos seems to be used for pretty much any member of the socialist party with money.

In France "bobos" seems to be used with scorn by right wing politicians (to try to divide the left wing electorate) but I really don't see anything wrong with being rich and being for solidarity in society, on the contrary I think it is very respectable.

If the left wing bourgeois are called "bobos" then shouldn't the right wing bourgeois be called "boegs" or more descriptively "bocos"?
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Old 29.07.2009, 19:11
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Re: [French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

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If the left wing bourgeois are called "bobos" then shouldn't the right wing bourgeois be called "boegs" or more descriptively "bocos"?
OK, I was able to figure out that "boegs" means bourgeois égoïstes, but que diable does "bocos" stand for
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Old 29.07.2009, 20:27
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Re: [French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

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OK, I was able to figure out that "boegs" means bourgeois égoïstes, but que diable does "bocos" stand for
bourgeois communistes (that doesn't sound right), corrompus, complaisants, cocus, cocaïnomanes (more realistic), colériques, cogneurs, comiques, cornichons, corrosifs, constipés, contagieux, congénitaux, consanguins, conservateurs, contestataires or simply cons?
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Old 29.07.2009, 20:34
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Re: [French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

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bourgeois communistes (that doesn't sound right), corrompus, complaisants, cocus, cocaïnomanes (more realistic), colériques, cogneurs, comiques, cornichons, corrosifs, constipés, contagieux, congénitaux, consanguins, conservateurs, contestataires or simply cons?
The last one is the only one that makes sense
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Old 04.08.2009, 22:33
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Re: [French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

".I think the difference between "gauche caviar" and "bobos" is that gauchecaviar was mostly used to talk about high profile members of the french socialist party while bobos seems to be used for pretty much any member of the socialist party with money.

In France "bobos" seems to be used with scorn by right wing politicians (to try to divide the left wing electorate) but I really don't see anything wrong with being rich and being for solidarity in society, on the contrary I think it is very respectable."

BOBOS is an expression that is pretty much the same as "gauche caviar" but that does not only apply to people belonging to the socialitist party. It is also used against any kind of people well off and who pretend to hold "social" or "liberal" views. The scorn is not aimed at the money in itself but on the feeling many people have of having been betrayed by the socialist party and the left in general.
Also it is a criticism of the way of life. For instance the fact that they love living in the heart of cities, in old handwork shops ets, thus rising the cost of living for the lesser of who find themselves having to live further and further away from where they live. The term is much more used in France than in Switzerland, though.
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Old 14.04.2019, 15:12
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Re: [French] What does "Les Bobos" mean

Its an abbreviation of "bourgeois" often in a parisian context. Its used in a derogatory way by those on the right of the right against left leaning upper middle class people. Meaning they have very comfortable consumption based lifestyles growing up, but call themselves socialist, the word implies these people arent really meant to be taken seriously and are a joke.
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