One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A popular dance of West Indian origin, similar to the foxtrot.
- ‘Spike wrote: ‘We present a very colourful act in rhumba costume and our numbers comprise sambas, beguines, rhumbas etc.’’
- ‘Like many Latin dances, the beguine emphasizes the ability to roll the hips while stepping, evoking sensuality.’
- ‘At night, party-goers dance the beguine, which was born in Martinique and reveals the islands soul.’
- ‘She refused to begin the beguine when they besought her to’
1930s: from West Indian French, from French béguin ‘infatuation’.
(in the Roman Catholic Church) a member of a lay sisterhood in the Low Countries, not bound by vows.
- ‘In a fascinating appendix he profiles some Beguine women who had associations with the Spirituals, and throughout the text he warns against a tendency to see every upholder of evangelical poverty as either a heretic or even a Spiritual.’
- ‘Mechthild of Magdeburg was a member of a Beguine community.’
Late 15th century: Old French béguine, from the name of Lambert Bègue or le Bègue (‘the Stammerer’), a 12th-century priest who founded the order.
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