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Terms from French

This week's words
passe-partout
tranche
beau monde
bien-pensant
pas de deux

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

bien-pensant

PRONUNCIATION:
(bee-aN poN-saN [the last three syllables are nasal])

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Right-thinking; conservative; conformist.
2. Self-righteous.

noun:
1. A right-thinking person.
2. A self-righteous person.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French, literally well thinking, from bien (well), + penser (to think).

USAGE:
"But the problem is that one man's superstition is another man's religion, and vice versa. Many Protestants today still see Catholicism as being rife with superstition, ... while atheists and agnostics would see bien-pensant Protestants as worshiping an equally absurd form of the supernatural."
David Gibson; Is One Man's Faith Another's Superstition?; The Wall Street Journal (New York); Mar 27, 2009.

"We North London bien pensant types do our best, we really do."
Peter York; How to Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is; The Independent (London, UK); Sep 17, 2006.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived. -Oscar Wilde, writer (1854-1900)

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