Saturday, October 18, 2008

Word of the Day

clochard\kloh-SHAR\n. 1: tramp, vagrant

Example Sentence: He lives on the Pont Neuf, the oldest and most beautiful bridge in Paris, which has become a secret home to clochards... while closed for extensive repairs.

Did you know? Why such a fancy French word for a bum? The truth of the matter is, nine times out of ten, you will find "clochard" used for not just any bum, but a French bum - even more specifically, a Parisian bum. And, sometimes, it's even a certain type of Parisian bum - a type that has been romanticized in literature and is part of the local color. Nevertheless, as "francais" as this word (which comes from the French verb "clocher," meaning "to limp") may seem, it's regular appearance in English sources since 1937 makes it an English word, too.

My use: I don't really have a good use for clochard. Other than maybe the many clochard that litter the corners of temple square.

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