Who says it: French-Canadians
What it means: "Happy winter"
How you can use it: Greetings of the season. You pronounce it "bone ee-VAIR."
In a classic episode of "Northern Exposure," the residents of Cicely, Alaska use this as a greeting for the first snowfall. I haven't been able to find any evidence that this is a custom anywhere in real life, but I love the idea -- so bonne hiver to you all, because it's snowing hard here.
It started as single stray flakes, just as Dizzy and I were beginning our walk to the graveyard; by the time we got home, it was coming down hard, and starting to stick.
Dizzy is thrilled. I didn't know whether he'd remember snow, but he obviously does. He was as excited as a puppy, running around the cemetery attacking piles of leaves before they disappear.
I'm just hoping the Maine Department of Transportation doesn't skimp on sand, because I'm driving to Portland for dinner this evening. The Beetle's been through enough in the last ten days.