Trend Watch

Louche

In an obituary for crime novelist Elmore Leonard ...


When:

Lookups spiked on August 20, 2013.

louche-elmore-leonard

Why:

In its obituary for crime novelist Elmore Leonard, The New York Times praised his "louche characters, deadpan dialogue, and immaculate prose style."

Louche, meaning "not reputable or decent," might describe a character like the former millionaire Maurice, in Leonard's novel La Brava, who says, "I spent most of my dough on booze, broads and boats and the rest I wasted."

The word comes from the French for "cross-eyed" or "squint-eyed," probably based on the notion that disreputable people have shifty eyes. It ultimately comes from the Latin for "blind in one eye."



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