Trend Watch

Louche

Clinton confidante disparages John Boehner ...


When:

Lookups spiked September 1-3.

Why:

On August 31, the State Department released another batch of Hillary Clinton's emails from her private server, including an email from confidante Sidney Blumenthal in which he disparaged Speaker John Boehner as "louche, alcoholic, lazy, and without any commitment to any principle." Louche caught the eye of many; it was the top lookup for three days following the email release. It means "not reputable or decent."

Louche ultimately comes from the Latin word luscus, which means "blind in one eye" or "having poor sight" - appropriate for such an eye-catching word. The Latin term gave rise to the French louche, meaning "squinting" or "cross-eyed." The French gave their term a figurative sense as well, taking that squinty look to mean "shady" or "devious." English speakers borrowed the figurative louche from French in the 19th century, and use it today to refer to both people and places that are disreputable.



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