Saturday, June 26, 2010

Word of the Day: Poilus

poi·lu   [pwah-loo; Fr. pwa-ly] Show IPA
–noun, plural -lus  [-looz; Fr. -ly] Show IPA.
a french common soldier.

1910–15; < F, in earlier slang: tough individual, tough, brave, lit., hairy, haired; MF, OF pelu ( cf. plew) < VL *pilūtus, equiv. to L pil ( us ) hair + VL *-ūtus, for L -ātus -ate1 ( e > oi by influence of poil hair < L pilus )

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