espiègle was our Word of the Day on 01/23/2009. Hear the podcast!
Examples of espiègle in a sentence
the espiègle light in the young princess's eye faded when she contemplated the stifling restrictions of court life
Did You Know?
Espiègle is a corruption of Ulespiegle, the French name for Till Eulenspiegel, a peasant prankster of German folklore. Tales of Eulenspiegel's merry pranks against well-to-do townsmen, clergy, and nobility were first translated into French in 1532 and into English around 1560. In the 19th century, Sir Walter Scott introduced his readers to the adjective espiègle and the related noun espièglerie (a word for "roguishness" or "playfulness") in his Waverley novels. Other 19th century authors followed suit, and even today these words are most likely to be encountered in literature.
Origin and Etymology of espiègle
French, after Ulespiegle (Till Eulenspiegel), peasant prankster
First Known Use: 1816
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