The Wild Doctor – Le Médecin Sauvage

This blog post has been published by RxISK (who describe themselves as ‘… a free, independent drug safety website to help you weigh the benefits of any medication against its potential dangers”). It begins:

“The French playwright Moliere loved poking fun at pomposity especially when it involved doctors. In Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, he pokes fun at Monsieur Jourdain, a pompous upstart, who has come into money and is taking on airs and graces.

Translating gentilhomme into gentleman misses what the word meant around 1660, which was more like civilized, the manners which aristocrats, our betters, had in contrast to which the rest of us were savages, wild, uncivilized or uncouth – something more like grossier in French, gross in English slang.

Savage in English is sauvage in French, which translates back to English as wild.

Words count in a black comedy or perhaps horror story. Doctors have done a reverse Jourdain – gone from being civilized to médecins sauvage or grossier – take your pick.

Could such a tale be possible? It was written in 1886 – The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde …”

You can read more from here.

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