Valérie M. wrote:
The so-called french word I found in the article "SEIGNEUR-TERRASSE" does not exist in french. I checked in all my dictionaries to be completely positive, and on the web (the only links found are english and refered to this book).
It looks like a neologism (or a bad joke): "Someone who spends time, but not money, at a café.", what a cliché for us!
Makes me doubtful about the quality of the book and the research (if any) made by the author.
This posting develops the theme Valérie raised.
De Boinod [the author] is no linguist (he's a researcher for the BBC comedy quiz show QI), but he claims to have read "over 280 dictionaries" and "140 websites" (or, according to his publisher's site, "approximately 220 dictionaries" and "150 websites" — take your pick). It's safe to assume that the fact-checking for such books is rather minimal — if a website says it, it must be true, right?
As an aside, the reliance on sketchy online dictionaries and wordlists can yield unintentionally humorous results. Take, for instance, the Maserati Kubang. Unveiled in 2003, this "concept car" is supposedly named after "a wind over Java." (Maserati has a tradition of naming cars after exotic-sounding winds.) Close, but no cigar — the actual word is kumbang, not kubang. Angin kumbang literally means "bumblebee wind" in Javanese and Indonesian, and it refers to a very dry south or southwesterly wind that blows into the port of Cirebon on the north coast of Java. But this got mangled on various websites listing winds of the world nd kumbang was changed to kubang. What does kubang mean in Indonesian? "Mudhole, mud puddle, quagmire." Probably not the image Maserati was going for!
The original article contains quite a few more interesting examples and further references.