Online Encyclopedia

COQUET (pronounced co-kette)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 130 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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COQUET (pronounced co-kette), to simulate the arts of love-making, generally from motives of personal vanity, to flirt; in a figurative sense, to. trifle or dilly-dally with anything. The word is derived from the French eoqueter, which originally means, "to strut about like a cock-bird," i.e. when it desires to attract the hens. The French substantive coquet, in the sense of "beau" or " lady-killer," was formerly commonly used in English; but the feminine form, coquette, now practically alone survives, in the sense of a woman who gratifies, her vanity by using her powers of attraction in a frivolous or inconstant fashion. Hence "to coquet," the original and more correct form, has come frequently to be written "to coquette." Coquetry (Fr. coquetterie), primarily the art of the coquette, is used figuratively of any dilly-dallying or "coquetting" and, by transference of idea, of any superficial qualities of attraction in persons or things. " Coquet " is still also occasionally used adjectivally, but the more usual form is " coquettish "; e.g. we speak of a "coquettish manner;" or a "coquettish hat." The crested humming-birds of the genus Lophornis are known as coquettes (Fr. coquets).
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