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May 28, 2015
This week’s theme
Terms borrowed from French

This week’s words
politesse
laissez-faire
de rigueur
soi-disant

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with Anu Garg

soi-disant

PRONUNCIATION:
(swa-dee-ZAN)

MEANING:
adjective: Self-styled; so-called.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French soi-disant (self-styled, so-called) from soi (oneself) + disant (saying). Earliest documented use: 1752.

USAGE:
“For some reason, the soi-disant ‘entertainment capital of the world’ has never been able to sustain a resident [ballet] company.”
Patt Diroll; A Step Ahead for Ballet; Pasadena Star-News (California); May 25, 2009.

“Hannah turns to the suspiciously handsome soi-disant geek.”
Virginia Heffernan; Really, Mom, We’re Just Going Out for Ice Cream; The New York Times; Feb 16, 2004.

See more usage examples of soi-disant in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. -William Pitt, British prime minister (28 May 1759-1806)

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