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Nov 26, 2003This week's theme
Words formed in error
This week's words
Read it today
A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
faineant(FAY-nee-uhnt, French: fay-nay-AHN)
From French fainéant, alteration of fait-néant (literally, does nothing), by folk etymology from faignant, present participle of faindre (to feign).
So a mistaken assumption about the derivation of the word turned the original French faignant (feigning) into faineant (does nothing), the present form. In French history, many kings have been called les rois fainéants as the real power was in the hands of mayors of the palace.
"Moved in equal parts by ambition, restlessness, and an impulse to do
good, he has filled any and all roles abdicated by the faineant previous
"There will be a two-year hiatus while Mr O'Reilly does the building
work and the notion of what to do while waiting has until recently been
He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak. -Michel De Montaigne, essayist (1533-1592)
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