derring-do

action displaying heroic courage


I’ve used this word a few times in the past week, in a silly sort of way. It’s impossible for me to use this word seriously. According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, the current meaning of the word is based on a mistake. Apparently, the words dorrying do, meaning “daring to do” in a Chaucer text, were later misprinted as derryinge do, which Edmund Spenser (centuries after Chaucer) misinterpreted to mean manhood or chivalry. Sir Walter Scott took this meaning and ran with it.

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One Response to derring-do

  1. Feng-Ju says:

    can you give each vocabulary one or two examples of how to use it in a sentence? that would be very helpful. thank you

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