February 1, 2007 1 Comment
Today’s word from A.W.A.D:
dragoon (druh-GOON) verb tr.
To force someone to do something; coerce.
[From French dragon (dragon, to dragoon).]
This is a good example of how a term transferred from an object to a people to an action. Originally it referred to the firearms, either from the fact that they breathed fire like a dragon or from the shape of the pistol hammer. Eventually it began to be applied to a European cavalryman armed with a carbine. Today the term is used in the sense of forcing someone to do something against his or her will.
As a friend said this morning, “It’s a good synonym for libertarians to know.”