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It's lunch time, you joined a table with people, you are about to start eating, but just a moment before you do so, you want to wish everyone a good lunch.

If they were French you would say:

Bon Appetit

If they were Russian you would say:

приятного аппетита

And for Israelis it's:

בתאבון

But when I asked my friend how would he say it in English, he shook his head.

Help me out, how to wish a good lunch in English?

  • 1
    "Enjoy your meal" is probably as close as you're going to get. – Kevin Workman Mar 16 '15 at 17:04
  • Chow down! haha – Ian MacDonald Mar 16 '15 at 18:19
  • What @Kevin said. But in my house, plain "Enjoy!" is probably the most common version. – FumbleFingers Mar 16 '15 at 18:31
  • @FumbleFingers "Good bread, good meat, good god, let's eat!" – Kevin Workman Mar 16 '15 at 18:36
  • @Kevin: Until your comment, I hadn't even thought about the Who's going to "say grace"? connotations of all these variants on Bon appetit!. But even without the third element in your version, it does strike me as being something of a "minced grace" (the speaker doesn't actually want to go through the whole closed eyes/holding hands rigmarole, but does wish to acknowledge the practice). – FumbleFingers Mar 16 '15 at 18:55
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There is no common English phrase akin to bon appetit. In fact the most common way of wishing people to enjoy their meal in the English-speaking world is to use the French phrase bon appetit, which is so commonly used in English that it appears in English dictionaries.

For something more "native" to English, sometimes people will simply say "enjoy!" though that is much less specific to eating a meal than bon appetit.

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Some comments mentioned "enjoy your meal", but that doesn't really apply when you're going to be a part of the party. It's used as more of a farewell than something you'd say at the table, and often by waiters and waitresses as they're going to serve someone else.

If you're the host, you might consider "dig in" or "eat up", though both sound distinctly southern American and very casual, and may not have exactly the same connotations. But it's a good way of wishing a good meal upon someone without leaving the table.

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