épater le bourgeois

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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from French épater (amaze) le (the) bourgeois (a member of the middle class).


épater le bourgeois

  1. (literary) To scandalize, provoke the middle class.
    • 1987, Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students:
      All that was needed were the heroes willing to act out the fantasies the public now accepted as reality: the hero, as hedonist, who dares to do in public what the public wants to see. It was épater les bourgeois as a bourgeois calling.


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  • IPA(key): /e.pa.te l(ə) buʁ.ʒwa/


épater le bourgeois

  1. (idiomatic) to shake (or shock) middle-class attitudes