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|French to English translations [Non-PRO]|
|French term or phrase: enfant perdu|
|I'm not really sure if it' really latin, but other examples around this one were.|
If it´s French, it´s "lost child". But what this means when used in English is a lot more, and doesn´t mean a child at all.
It is very evocative, and thus difficult to explain. It means a person who has become lost, with the sense of going bad. "desperado, rashling[obs], madcap, daredevil, Hotspur, fire eater, bully, bravo, Hector, scapegrace, enfant perdu[Fr]; Don Quixote, knight- errant, Icarus; adventurer; gambler, gamester; dynamitard[obs]; boomer [obs][U. S.]." - from the first reference.
In the plural, "Enfants perdus ("lost children"): a French military term, denoting scouts sent into enemy territory and not expected to return."
"Sailors are les enfants perdus, “the forlorn hope of the world;” they are fellows that bid defiance to terror, and maintain a constant war with the elements; who, by the magic of their art, trade in the very confines of death, and are always posted within shot, as I may say, of the grave." - from Daniel Defoe (1660 - 1731), second reference.
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