épater les bourgeois

épater les bourgeois

shock people who have attitudes or views regarded as conventional or complacent.
The French phrase is generally used in English, there being no exact English equivalent. ‘Il faut épater le bourgeois’ (‘one must astonish the bourgeois’) was a comment attributed to the French poet and critic Charles Baudelaire .
1995 Times Because it takes more than a urinal to épater les bourgeois now, the real things that are being hauled into galleries grow ever more provocative: turds, frozen foetuses and used sanitary towels.