Last week’s parvenu provides an excellent example of a loan-word from French. English has so many of these terms that they merit their own category at the blog.
Last week’s word was not quite as nasty as this also rare term, so I love it! To quote the OED, the arriviste “persistently strives to advance his or her position, social status, etc., esp. to an extent considered ruthless or unscrupulous; spec. one who has recently or rapidly advanced to a social group for which he or she is considered unfit or unworthy.” We can use the term as noun or adjective.
Such unwelcome and unhealthy ambition! There’s no sugar-coating our Word of the Week this time. Parvenus could, I suppose, simply want to join the crowd. Arrivistes simply do not belong. They will use any means to get in.
I suppose we smile upon the parvenu who behaves well, but we should beware the arriviste. Think of the classic film All About Eve. Things do not end well.
Please send us words and metaphors useful in academic writing by e-mailing me (jessid -at- richmond -dot- edu) or leaving a comment below.
Film image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.