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cherchez la femme

[sher-shey la-fam] /ʃɛrˈʃeɪ laˈfam/
French.
1.
look for the woman: advice offered facetiously in any situation, especially one of doubt or mystery.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cherchez la femme
Historical Examples
  • In reply I can only quote the old saying, cherchez la femme.

    Glories of Spain Charles W. Wood
  • Oh, yes, Prescott sniffed; distrust the obvious is as hackneyed a phrase as cherchez la femme!

    The Luminous Face Carolyn Wells
  • So, then, all logical deductions simmered down to one: cherchez la femme.

    The Goose Girl Harold MacGrath
  • This is not a cherchez la femme story, so we will leave the lady's name out of it altogether.

    A Little Book of Christmas John Kendrick Bangs
  • Win was instantly sure that here was the man in the case; now, cherchez la femme!

    Winnie Childs C. N. Williamson
  • Someone has said that "cherchez la femme" is written over every phase of Parisian life, and the thing is true.

    In Vanity Fair Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd
  • Goes with 'the tented field' and casus belli: cherchez la femme and cui bono?

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • But when a man acts with apparently inexplicable foolishness, it is generally safe to say, "cherchez la femme!"

  • "cherchez la femme," as the French say with the dry animosity of a logical race.

    Modern Essays John Macy
  • cherchez la femme,” one comic paper had the audacity to remark, propos l'affaire Svensen and Burnley.

    Mystery at Geneva Rose Macaulay
Word Origin and History for cherchez la femme

French, literally "seek the woman," on the notion that a woman is the cause for whatever crime has been committed, first used by Alexandre Dumas père in "Les Mohicans de Paris" (1864) in the form cherchons la femme. French chercher is from Latin circare, in Late Latin "to wander hither and thither," from circus "circle" (see circus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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