épater les bourgeois

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épater les bourgeois

To surprise people who have traditional views. "Épater" means "to flabbergast" in French. Our world is so crazy these days that it takes a lot to 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.
References in periodicals archive ?
For many of us the Review's role in showcasing Naked Lunch in the 1950s exemplified its identity: to feature innovative, experimental, or unconventional writing that might not easily find an outlet elsewhere, maybe with a little bit of epater les bourgeois thrown in for good measure.
Though this might seem like OMA doing its familiar epater les bourgeois, Koolhaas has a more intimate Almere connection--his uncle, Teun, was part of the team that developed the original masterplan.
Does a kind of irredentist spirit of incitement and confrontation, reviving the hallowed Gallic traditions of the film maudit, of epater les bourgeois and amour fou, account for the shock tactics employed in recent French cinema?
His half-dozen impressive pages here on Wittgenstein are in quite a different key, and show that he is no fool, although he remains, I feel, a clever schoolboy embarrassed by his own intelligence and perversely determined to misuse it to epater les bourgeois.
And then there is the irrepressible urge epater les bourgeois, who might, after all, have taken some false comfort from Hauerwas' high praise of the Trollopian gentleman; thus we have an essay on 'Why Gays (as a Group) are Morally Superior to Christians (as a Group)'.
The thrust of the artists represented is anything but bourgeois; in their idealistic adherence to abolishing old forms and creating new kinds of theatre, they followed the traditional avantgarde mandate: epater les bourgeois.