I was watching the latest Asterix movie. I know that people who know Latin sometimes don’t like the way it’s used in Asterix, but hear me out. There is this scene where the pirates are trying to get the Gauls to calm down.

The red-haired pirate says, “May we offer you a drink?”

Then the white-haired pirate says something in Latin.

And it must be partially reprehensible, because the red-haired pirate then basically mumbles, “Um, yeah, but you should be careful with that.”

I tried looking up the phase everywhere I could, I have not found it. I tried typing it phonetically in Google translate, but I got nothing that really made sense. So I’m wondering, as a last resort, if anyone here can figure out what this means.

Here’s the clip: https://youtu.be/rlERqf0E3Ds It’s only six seconds long.

In the original Asterix, none of the Latin was written for the comics. The author, René Goscinny, always said the same thing when someone tried to correct his Latin: that he didn’t know any Latin at all and that he’d copied the phrase from the “proverbs and sayings” section of the dictionary. (“Les pages roses du Petit Larousse.”) But maybe, because this is a new and recent story, the phrase is not a quotation and that it’s written to be relevant to the situation. In any case, I can’t figure it out.

Thanks to anyone who can help!

1 Answer 1


It sounds like bonum vinum laetificat cor hominis, with a French accent. "Good wine cheers a man's heart."

It's not an uncommon phrase, inspired by Ecclesiasticus 40:20 (part of the Deuterocanon).

  • 2
    It worth noting that stripping this out of context and considering the grammar alone, this might be rendered as man's heart enriches good-wine which is really not so far fetched as one might suppose, as the judgment (and the very taste itself!) of people tend to be effected by their "hearts" (prejudices, and even their mood.)
    – d_e
    Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 20:10
  • Les pages roses agree with your text, but add the full quotation attrib. Eccle'siastique XL 20. Wine and music rejoice the heart: but the love of wisdom is above them both
    – Hugh
    Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 22:47
  • @Hugh Apparently Ecclésiastique and Ecclesiastes are different books and something got confused along the way. Ecclesiasticus (Ecclésiastique) has the exact quote.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 23:00
  • 1
    Oh, it's not actually the exact same quote, I guess. Still a lot closer than Ecclesiastes.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 23:20
  • 1
    @Hugh I used to have a Larousse AND a Robert, but these days, I am separated from my physical books. I would not have expected the phrase to come from a biblical quotation, and the film takes place in 50 BCE. That's my bad for being too literal.
    – eje211
    Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 23:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.