Posted by Smokey Stover on August 21, 2004
In Reply to: Re: Prix fix posted by Henry on August 19, 2004
: : : I was wondering if any one knows what this phrase means? Thanks
: : It means fixed price - usually refers to a set meal offered for fixed price... For some reason it looks misspelled to me but I am having trouble finding it in the dictionary.
: From Bartleby; prix fixe (no accent) is a French phrase meaning "a fixed price" for a whole meal. Pronounce it either PREE FIKS or PREE FEEKS.
While Bartleby is correct, I think that what distinguishes the "prix fixe" meal is that it is like a special. You take all the choices, for a fixed price, rather than order a la carte. The idea of a prix fixe also contrasts with the idea of negotiable prices, as you would find, say, in an outdoor market, and seems to have resonated with French shoppers. After WW2 the French began to see their first "supermarkets" and soon a chain of stores sprang up called "Prix Fixe." (It wasn't a grocery chain, more of a department store, if I remember correctly, and I may not.) It was also in this period that the French learned about peanut butter, which the new groceries carried. Contraty to popular tourist opinion, the French already knew about non-scratchy toilet paper. They just didn't want the tourists to find out. SS
See also - other French phrases in English.