Posted by ESC on January 14, 2000
In Reply to: Origin of "noblesse oblige" posted by liz bragg on January 13, 2000
: I would appreciate someone giving me the origin of the
: expression "noblesse oblige" and also using it in
: context to clearly convey the meaning. Thanks. Liz
It's a French phrase. NOBLESSE OBLIGE -- From "Le Mot Juste: A Dictionary of Classical and Foreign Words and Phrases" (Vintage Books, 1991) edited by John Buchanan-Brown and others: "noblesse oblige - (no-BLESS oh-BLEEGE) literally: nobility obliges; those in high positions must be responsible." From the "
" (Second Edition, HarperCollins, 1977) by William and Mary Morris: ".(today) when there are not many persons with the noble ranks of old, it is used mainly in speaking of the generosity of the rich to charity. With their resources, they can afford to exercise noblesse oblige, particularly if it's tax deductible."
See also - other French phrases in English.