Friday, 7 December 2018

miles gloriosus

We learn from Oxford Words blog the etymology of the word chauvinism can be sourced to an apocryphal French soldier in La Grand Armée of Napoleon called Nicolas Chauvin of Rochefort. The eponym of the legendary character was used to lampoon the exploits and loyalty of the Bonapartists who upheld their general as a leader even in defeat and disgrace—expanding from a term that narrowly was associated with nationalistic fervour to a broader bias towards othering and boastfulness.