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Feb 9, 2012
This week's theme
Words to describe people

This week's words
wastrel
lummox
dilettante
roue
poseur

A woodcut illustrating an execution on a wheel, of Peter Stumpp
A woodcut illustrating an execution on a wheel, of Peter Stumpp (died 1589) who was accused of being a werewolf among other crimes

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

roue

PRONUNCIATION:
(roo-AY, ROO-ay)

MEANING:
noun: A debauched man, especially an elderly man from a wealthy or aristocratic family.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French roué (literally, broken on a wheel), from rouer (to break on the wheel), from Latin rota (wheel). The word arose from the belief that such a person deserved this punishment. Earliest documented use: 1781.

NOTES:
The word was first applied to the companions of Philippe II, Duke of Orleans. The breaking wheel was an instrument of torture on which a victim was put and bludgeoned to death.

USAGE:
"Patrick Lichfield, the Queen's dandified cousin, invested in the shop because its founders were, as he said with a roue's smirk, 'two of my old girlfriends'."
Peter Conrad; The Big Picture; The Observer (London, UK); Nov 20, 2011.

See more usage examples of roue in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I shall live badly if I do not write, and I shall write badly if I do not live. -Francoise Sagan, playwright and novelist (1935-2004)

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