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WOTD      
Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Tuesday 27th February 2018
Archive | Previous word | Today's word |

picaresque (noun and adjective) pik-uh-RESK



Fiction featuring a rogue as hero; of literature with a rogue as the hero; characteristic of rogues.

Mogilevich's arrest appears to bring to an end one of the most colourful and picaresque criminal careers of modern times - involving money-laundering, trading in drugs, prostitution, smuggling uranium and stolen icons, and international banking fraud.

Luke Harding, Guardian, 25 January 2008. Guardian

What he does is stand in one spot and relate anecdotes, largely about a picaresque solo pub crawl around Chippenham, in a West Country accent that varies neither in pitch nor pace and always sounds somewhat aggrieved - but he is one of the most original stand-up acts to have emerged in recent years.

Steplanie Merritt, The Observer, 19 August 2007. Observer

From the time she leaves an unhappy arranged marriage at the age of sixteen, her life unfolds as a picaresque series of exploits that illustrate her ability to live by her wits as an ashawo—a “semiprofessional” prostitute—supported by the men she meets in the bars and discos of Accra and Lomé.

Unattributed review, The New Yorker, 9 February 2004, The New Yorker
of John Chernoff's Hustling is not Stealing: Stories of an African Bar Girl. Amazon

It will sound perverse to fault a picaresque for its rambling plot, but this one’s is hardly robust.

Stacy Shiff, The New York Times, 24 February 2008, New York Times
reviewing Jerome Charyn's Johnny One-Eye: A Tale of the American Revolution.
Amazon

It is hard to imagine what other walk of sporting life might ever have brought these men together, the tweedy countryman and the picaresque adventurer.

Chris McGrath, The Independent, 10 March 2008. The Independent




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