mottleyfool (mottleyfool) wrote in little_details,
mottleyfool
mottleyfool
little_details

When did this French word become an insult? (Updated)

I have a character who is referring to someone she dislikes, slipping occasionally into French. I rather like the word "blaireau" for tone and sound, but I am not sure how early it was used in its contemporary insulting meaning. The older French-English dictionaries I have found from the late 1800's only give its literal meanings as "badger" or "brush made from badger hair", but I am not sure they would list the insulting "slang" meaning, even if it were in street usage. My target time period is early 20th century, 1930s to be precise.

Many thanks!

ETA: more specific time period

ETA 2nd: The sense of "idiot" or "fool" would not be a good fit in context, but if the following is a generally-held sense, then it would work perfectly:

"En réalité, tout découle du verbe "blairer" (synonyme de "sentir") : oh, je ne peux pas le sentir, je ne peux pas le blairer, oh, c'est vraiment un blaireau. Et puis c'est resté.
Un blaireau (argot et sens figuré) est un individu rusé, sournois, souvent menteur pour arriver à ses fins."
from http://louveterie.19.pagesperso-orange.fr/contenu/Blaireau.htm

Would this be an appropriate application, or is this writer off the mark?

Thanks again!
Tags: 1930-1939, france (misc), ~languages: french
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