Word of the Day Archive
Thursday May 30, 2002
bete noire \bet-NWAHR\ , noun:
Something or someone particularly detested or avoided; a bugbear.
Even more regrettable, as far as Dame Edna is concerned, is the presence of her old bete noire, the extravagantly disgusting Sir Les Patterson.
-- "The Dame's New Man", Daily Telegraph, April 18, 1998
Never an exceptional student, Andrews somehow managed to navigate the academy's rigorous courses with satisfactory grades, though all forms of mathematics were agonizing to him, remaining what he called his "bete noire" throughout life.
-- Charles Gallenkamp, Dragon Hunter: Roy Chapman Andrews and the Central Asiatic Expeditions
Bête noire is French for "black beast."