Word of the Day : February 21, 2015

jeunesse dorée

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noun zheuh-ness-dor-RAY

Definition

: young people of wealth and fashion

Did You Know?

French revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre and his allies, the Jacobins, gained many enemies for their role in the Reign of Terror. One of their fiercest opponents was Louis Freron, a former Jacobin who played a key role in overthrowing their government. On July 27, 1794, counter-revolutionaries toppled the Jacobin regime and had Robespierre arrested and executed. In the midst of the chaos that followed, Louis Freron organized gangs of fashionably dressed young toughs to terrorize the remaining Jacobins. French speakers called those stylish young thugs the jeunesse dorée-literally, the "gilded youth." By the time the term jeunesse dorée was adopted into English in the 1830s, it had lost its association with violent street gangs and simply referred to any wealthy young socialites.


Examples

It was clear that the magazine was targeting the jeunesse dorée based on its ads for expensive trendy clothes and profiles of the hottest nightspots.

"On a walk in Montreal's Little Burgundy neighborhood, the streets were quiet but inside restaurants were buzzing and the city's jeunesse dorée were shoulder-to-stylish-shoulder at gallery openings." - Christopher Muther, Boston Globe, October 18, 2014



Test Your Vocabulary

What is the name for a member of a social class of well-to-do professionals who espouse bohemian values and lead bourgeois lives? The answer is …


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