Pronounced: dih-GUST, verb

Notes: Pretty close to disgust, but it’s not that word

Yesterday’s word

The word roué means “a man devoted to a life of sensual pleasure; rake”

First usage

Our word came into English in the late 1700s

Background / Comments

Yesterday, I noted that most people have heard this word: if you’ve ever seen the film The Sound of Music, you have heard the word. When the oldest girl, Liesl, sneaks out of the house meets with Rolfe, they sing Sixteen Going on Seventeen. In the first part of the song, Rolfe is trying to impress Liesl of her naïveté says “…fellows will fall in line – eager young lads, and roués, and cads will offer you food and wine. Totally unprepared are you…” At first, I could not remember the word, but then the above line came back to me. As you might guess, our word is a French word; it began to take on its meaning when it was used to refer to the disreputable (libertine) companions of Philippe II. The word roué literally means “broken on the wheel”, and came from the Latin word rota (wheel). The wheel was an instrument of punishment, so the word was used for people who were deserving of that punishment.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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