pis aller

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See also: pis-aller



From French pis-aller, from pis (worst) + aller (to go).



pis aller

  1. A last resort.
    • 1817, Walter Scott, Rob Roy, XII:
      ‘Soh! she would secure me as a pis aller, I suppose, in case Mr. Rashleigh Osbaldistone should not take compassion upon her!’
    • 1978, Lawrence Durrell, Livia, Faber & Faber 1992 (Avignon Quintet), p. 411:
      To tell the truth the Army seems the likeliest pis aller – though I am not very militant.
    • 1982, TC Boyle, Water Music, Penguin 2006, p. 425:
      Mungo is on his feet, lurching with the boat, dipping into the bright tatters of his shirt for the smooth ivory grip of his secret weapon, his pis aller, the gleaming silver-plated pistol Johnson had pressed on him with a parting benediction.