Marchepied (figurative)

Close Yr E's

French (France)

I'm looking for a translation of the figurative meaning of "MARCHEPIED" as in "a person/circumstance used as a means to reach the highest heights, to satisfy personal ambitions" (in French below):
Au fig. Personne ou circonstance employée comme un moyen de se hisser au plus haut rang, de satisfaire des ambitions personnelles. La bassesse se sert des affronts qu'elle reçoit comme d'un marche-pied pour s'élever (Chateaubr.,Natchez, 1826, p. 7). Belleville n'a été qu'un marchepied pour me hisser au pouvoir (Péladan,Vice supr.,1884, p. 178).

Here is the specific sentence to be translated:
"L'élite s'est défaussée de ses anciens marchepieds"

Is there a specific word, or do you think I should use a periphrasis?
The elite has got rid of its old ??

Thank you a lot in advance for your suggestions!
  • djweaverbeaver

    Senior Member
    English Atlanta, GA USA

    For marchepied in the figurative sense, I would say that stepping stone is a good translation. However, "ses anciens marchepieds" sounds some pejorative, for lack of a better word. They were dispensable and disposable to the elite who don't seem very appreciative.

    Close Yr E's

    French (France)
    "Stepping stone" seems to fit very well here, and the pejorative effect will conveyed by the co-text anyway!
    Thanks for your reactivity, djweaverbeaver :)