Tuesday’s Word of the Week 7-18-2017

scaramouch (e)

scar·a·mouch \ˈskar-ə-ˌmüsh, -ˌmüch, -ˌmau̇ch\
Popularity: Bottom 40% of words


a cowardly buffoon; a rascal or scamp


  • He completed changing in haste, and despite what scaramouche had said; and then followed with Rhodomont. —Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini 

  • “It is unfortunate that you are without a scaramouche,” said Andre-Louis. —Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini 

  • He had overcome the difficulty in a manner worthy of scaramouche. —Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini 

Did You Know?

In the commedia dell’arte, Scaramouch was a stock character who was constantly being cudgeled by Harlequin, which may explain why his name is based on an Italian word meaning “skirmish,” or “a minor fight.” The character was made popular in England during the late 1600s by the clever acting of Tiberio Fiurelli. During that time, the name “Scaramouch” also gained notoriety as a derogatory word for “a cowardly buffoon” or “rascal.” Today not many people use the word (which can also be spelled “scaramouche”), but you will encounter it while listening to Queen’s ubiquitous rock song “Bohemian Rhapsody,” in the lyric “I see a little silhouetto of a man / Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?”


French Scaramouche, from Italian Scaramuccia, from scaramuccia skirmish




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