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Thread: Derring-do

  1. Member
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      • Native Language:
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    • Join Date: Apr 2007
    • Posts: 292

    Post Derring-do

    How would you use this word?
    I mean in wich context?

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: Derring-do

    derring-do - Google Search
    1. From an early age, Skilling, the son of a sales manager for an Illinois valve company, showed the same kind of supreme self-confidence and derring-do that ...

    2. What's novel here is that this is being done in a completely transparent way, whereas in the past all the discussions and verbal derring-do would have ...

    3. LTHOUGH Jacques Derrida (who recently died) is hailed by Western scholars for having performed a philosophical derring-do by propounding his theory of ...

    4. It takes a spot of courage to stand up tall and a bit of derring-do to rise when you fall.

    It's "derring-do" ... but it shouldn't be
    "Derring-do" turns out to have an interesting history. It was a challenge to find, but the OED lists it as a "pseudo archaism" which originated with Chaucer, was misunderstood by Lydgate, picked up but misprinted by Spenser, and then taken up by Sir Walter Scott, and it's been "derring-do" ever since. The series of errors and misunderstandings have created a word meaning "reckless courage." If you have an OED, it's interesting reading.

    Does that help?

    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 556

    Re: Derring-do

    To me, the word has a slightly ridiculous, ironic sense, in modern use anyway. For example, I can't imagine someone awarding a medal post-humously to a fallen soldier for his derring-do on the battlefield. But I can easily imagine a description of little boys playing at being soldiers, running around the house with wooden swords and committing great feats of derring-do atop the shed roof.

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: Derring-do

    Welcome, Delmobile.

    From The Word Detective, Issue of December 20, 2002 :
    Of course, that was before Snidely ran for office.
    Ah, derring-do, where has it gone? I can't remember the last time I saw any real derring-do in the movies or on TV, but it was probably in a Dudley Doright cartoon. Dudley, whose adventures appeared as a feature on the old Rocky the Flying Squirrel show, had derring-do to spare, saving brave Nell Fenwick from the clutches of Snidely Whiplash each and every week. But derring-do seems to have fallen by the wayside of late in favor of so-called "heroes" of the James Bond stripe, whose heroism apparently lies in their ability to read the directions for the endless baroque gadgets they employ.

    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 556

    Re: Derring-do

    Thanks, Casiopea. I guess I should have introduced myself in the coffee shop or whatever, but I just plunged in. :)

    I LOVE the Word Detective. And Rocky & Bullwinkle, too.


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