Entourage

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Dr. Goodword
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Entourage

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:35 am

• entourage •


Pronunciation: ahn-tu-razh • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A retinue of followers, attendants, or supporters in tow. 2. Surroundings, environment.

Notes: This word has maintained the original French pronunciation except the accent has moved from the final syllable to the first. Like most if not all French borrowings ending on the suffix -age, it is a lexical orphan.

In Play: An entourage of a controversial figure usually has functions: "The entourages of presidential candidates are usually seated behind him at rallies so that they may be seen cheering him or her on television." One such function is to reflect the self-perceived importance of a celebrity: "The importance of a movie star may be gauged by the size of his or her entourage."

Word History: Middle English just copied Old French entourage "surroundings, environment", a derivation based on entourer "to surround", itself derived from entour "surroundings". English, over the years since, narrowed the sense of the French word to just people surrounding another person. The original French root is made up of en- "in" + tour "turn, path around, revolution (in the non-violent sense)". English gobbled up the latter for its tour, while it was feasting on turn from Old French tourner "to turn on a lathe" at the same time. Both these words came from PIE terê-/torê- "to rub, polish, turn (on a lathe)", source also of Russian teret' "to rub", Serbian trti "to rub", Greek teiro "I rub". We can also see it in Lithuanian tìrti "to study, investigate" and understand the semantic migration. It arrived in Modern English as throw, in the sense of 'throw pots', which is done on a spinning wheel. (Now let's tip our hats to Albert Skiles for discovering such a fascinating Good Word as today's and sharing it with us.)
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Philip Hudson
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Re: Entourage

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:55 pm

Some folks out here in the hinterland actually know this word. Most folks have trouble pronouncing. I like a slight emphasis on the first syllable with a bodacious emphasis on the final syllable. How do British and Australians pronounce it?
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Re: Entourage

Postby Slava » Mon Feb 08, 2021 12:20 pm

"The importance of a movie star may be gauged by the size of his or her entourage." Does anyone else feel "self-" should be inserted before importance here?

Now that we know the root origins, can we agree that entourages are usually made up of apple-polishers?

Any one care to take a stab at differentiating between entourage and posse? Posse in the modern, entourage-y sense, that is to say.
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Re: Entourage

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Feb 08, 2021 1:14 pm

Slava: This is my introduction to, "Posse in the modern, entourage-y sense." I wouldn't want to adapt this modern sense. I still watch old "Gunsmoke" programs.
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Re: Entourage

Postby call_copse » Wed Feb 10, 2021 7:25 am

For me an entourage always pertains to or follows a particular individual. A posse may be assembled with a leader, but the leader would always be leading them for a purpose, rather than them attending to his / her needs.
Iain

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Re: Entourage

Postby George Kovac » Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:49 pm

The au courant Americanism for "entourage" is "crew."

Iain, as usual, is correct in describing the distinction between "posse" and "entourage." A posse always has a leader. In Western movies, the familiar phrase is that the sheriff "organizes a posse" to hunt down the bad guy. I.e., a posse requires agency, whereas an entourage can accrete informally.

Iain is not the first observer keen to articulate this distinction. Many years ago, the gifted and strange Gary Larson, in one of his classic "Far Side" cartoons, drew a bunch of cowboys under a tree. Heaped in incoherent piles on the ground were saddles, rifles, tangled ropes, upended horses, ten gallon hats and extra cowboys. One of the cowboys looks reprovingly at Sheriff Jake, the cowboy in charge, and says "Jake, you can't just throw together a posse, you have to organize it."
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Re: Entourage

Postby damoge » Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:46 pm

As much as I hate to disagree, the NEW use of posse is, as far as I can see, indistinguishable from the old use of entourage when referring to a group of groupies following the star.
Is it time to "get with the program"? I think not, but at least I can understand what is being said.
I'm not sure how long any of these will last. Being au courant is more important than loyalty to a term, evidently.
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Re: Entourage

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:11 pm

I've been living here in the hinterlands for 83 years. I know what a posse is. The posse follows the sheriff because of what they are hunting and not for the self-aggrandizements of the sheriff.
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Re: Entourage

Postby call_copse » Thu Feb 11, 2021 11:42 am

As much as I hate to disagree, the NEW use of posse is, as far as I can see, indistinguishable from the old use of entourage when referring to a group of groupies following the star.
Is it time to "get with the program"? I think not, but at least I can understand what is being said.
I'm not sure how long any of these will last. Being au courant is more important than loyalty to a term, evidently.
To my mind, this use of posse would always be distinguished by being referred to as X's posse, rather than just a general posse.
Iain


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