Word of the Week

From the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Day:

étourdi, n.
[‘ A thoughtless, irresponsible, or foolish person (esp. a man); a scatterbrain. Cf. étourdie n.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /eɪtʊəˈdiː/, /eɪtɔːˈdiː/, U.S. /ˌeɪtɔrˈdi/
Forms: 17 etourdie rare, 17–18 etourdi, 18– étourdi.
Etymology: < French étourdi (1614 or earlier), use as noun of étourdi étourdi adj.
Compare étourdie n. and slightly earlier étourdi adj., étourderie n.
A thoughtless, irresponsible, or foolish person (esp. a man); a scatterbrain. Cf. étourdie n.[a1689 J. Reresby Mem. & Trav.(1904) 135 The Low Dutch call the High, muffes, that is, etourdi, as the French have it, or blockhead.]
1768 T. Mortimer National Debt No National Grievance 147, I am not the first etourdi to whom you have given a full hearing.
1794 H. W. Paget Let. Sept. in G. C. Paget One-Leg(1961) iii. 45, I must begin this letter by owning that I am the greatest Etourdi that ever lived yet that I am always lucky enough to get well out of every Scrape.
1802 M. Charlton Wife & Mistress III. v. 130 Mr Nevarc sent an intimation that I should not expect him, the etourdihaving encountered a friend.
1847 Thackeray Vanity Fair(1848) vi. 45 ‘I beg a thousand pardons..,’ said the young étourdi, blushing.

1993 D. Wood Benjamin Constant 62 A lost scholarly Eden where he had first formed the idea of being more than an étourdi, an aimless young scatterbrain.

Works Cited

“étourdi, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 7 October 2015.


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