de rigour / de rigeur / de rigueur

Discussion in 'English Only' started by nikkieli, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. nikkieli Senior Member

    Bulgaria, Bulgarian
    Hi everyone,

    I recently came upon this in a tourist guide:

    "Making a toast when drinking alcohol is de rigour."

    I tried looking up 'de rigour' in various internet dictionaries, but was unable to find an explicit and complete definition. I take it that 'de rigour' is a neologism and has not yet been fully granted a carte blanche.
    Also, 'de rigour' to me functions as a substitution of 'must' as noun, or something obligatory.
    Please, tell me if I am right and whether 'de rigour' can operate as a standard phrase in standard texts, say the media.
    Thank you.
  2. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I don't think I've ever heard of "de rigour"; I imagine it was a typo for de rigueur.

  3. Yes, it's a typo for the French de rigeur - meaning almost compulsory in certain circles.
  4. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    Sorry to say this, but that is in its turn a typo - for de rigueur :).
  5. You're right, of course.

  6. emma42 Senior Member

    North East USA
    British English
    It's a well-known borrowing from French, certainly in British English, and is common among articulate folk.
  7. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    (Regarding the spelling, lists it as "de rigueur", not "de rigeur". The two spellings seem to have an equal footing in Google hits. Interesting! The word "rigueur" in French means "strictness" per the WRF dictionary, so I imagine that was the original spelling. I can find no word in French spelled "rigeur".)

    It's not unusual to read it in a social magazine or an etiquette book.

    To me, it simply means "it's the way it's done." In other words, if you don't follow the convention you will stick out like a sore thumb. :) It's a firm social convention with strong expectations behind it, in my experience.

    Merriam-Webster ( defines it as:

    prescribed or required by fashion, etiquette, or custom : proper

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