One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of a punishment or sacrifice: as an example to others; to encourage or deter others. Now chiefly in extended and weakened uses.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Duke of Wellington (1769–1852), army officer and prime minister. From French pour encourager les autres from French pour for, in order to + encourager + les, plural definite article + autres, plural of autre other.
pour encourager les autres/ˌpʊər ɒ̃ˌkʊraʒeɪ leɪz ˈəʊtrə//ˌpɔːr ɒ̃ˌkʊraʒeɪ leɪz ˈəʊtrə/
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