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.”


One Response to dragoon

  1. iceberg says:

    Perhaps this sheds light on the question of where the word ‘goon’ originates to mean “thug”?

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