The “boss des bécosses”, “déguédine” and “decolonialism” enter the “Le Robert” dictionary

Quebec’s linguistic heritage is an intangible edifice that is built and transformed over the years, decades, and centuries. Every year, the dictionary Little Robert immortalizes a few words in its pages, with more or less delay. This year, the famous expression “boss des bécosses” – which was banned from the National Assembly in 2020, joining invectives like “bonhomme Sept-Heures”, “Ti-coune” or “Slinky head” – enters into the dictionary.

Little Roberttherefore, finds this expression entirely acceptable.

A “boss of the cocks”, it reads, is a “person who demonstrates pretentious authority”, “a boss”. In fact, the word bécosse is a derivative of the English backhouse, an outdoor dry toilet found among poor French Canadians. By attaching an allusion to the English-speaking “boss” of the time, we measure the scope of the insult.

The dictionary also does us the honor this year of adopting the verb “déguédiner”. It is a word, we learn, which is “of obscure origin, perhaps from dike daine”. In Canada, we continue, we use it more in the imperative. As in: “Come on! Déguédine. Get some air. I have seen enough of you,” says Marie-Francine Hébert.

The journalist and writer Michel Jean goes to the Robert of proper namesjust like hockey star Guy Lafleur, in fact.

Elsewhere in the French-speaking world outside France, Little Robert also notably retained the “tchip”, originating from Africa and the West Indies, which designates “a sucking sound as a sign of disapproval or contempt”.

Ecological and inclusive

Ecology and inclusion, hot topics of the time, also leave their mark on the pages of the dictionary. A “climate bomb” (or “carbon bomb”) now officially designates a “site of exploitation of a fossil energy deposit (oil, gas, coal), which constitutes a significant source of greenhouse gases” . A “climaticide” project is a project “which, through its massive CO₂ emissions, contributes to global warming”. “Overtourism” refers to a “tourist presence perceived as excessive and harmful”.

“Decolonialism”, which appears in Canada in 2016, is entering the Little Robert accompanied by the following definition: “A current of thought of South American origin which postulates that forms of domination (political, economic, ethnic, cultural, etc.) resulting from colonization persist in society. See postcolonialism. »

We may be surprised that the verb “stalker”, from the English to stalkwhich means stalking, was so quickly adopted to mean “spying on someone’s actions on the Internet, particularly on social networks.”

Finally, some will now be able to officially boast of being “sapiosexual”, that is to say experiencing “a sexual attraction to people perceived as brilliant and cultured”. From English big (big) and Greek orexis (desire), the word “bigorexia” refers to the “extreme preoccupation with bodily appearance characterized by the search for muscle growth, leading to excessive practice of physical exercise associated with a strict diet”.

Very recently, the Petit Larousse also announced its new entries of the year. Among these, we found “masculinism”, defined as follows: “Ideology of North American origin, bringing together a myriad of movements mainly present online which, in reaction to the feminist movements of which they claim to be victims and under the guise of denouncing all forms of discrimination convey sexist, conspiratorial and reactionary theses, through a well-established misogynistic and/or patriarchal discourse. »

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