- skip - Brewer’s

Charlatan

.

The following etymology is suitable to a book of Phrase and Fable. It is said that one Latan, a famous quack, used to go about Paris in a gorgeous car, in which he had a travelling dispensary. A man with a horn announced the approach of this magnate, and the delighted sightseers used to cry out, “Voila! le char de Latan.” When I lived in Paris I often saw this gorgeous car; the horn-man had a drum also, and M. Latan, dressed in a long showy robe, wore sometimes a hat with feathers, sometimes a brass helmet, and sometimes a showy cap. He was a tooth-extracter as well as dispenser.

Probably “Latan” was an assumed name, for charlatan is undoubtedly the Italian ciarlatano, a babbler or quack.

previous entry · index · next entry

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

previous entry · index · next entry

Chargé dAffaires
Charicleia
Charing Cross
Chariot
Chariot of the Gods
Chariots or Cars
Charioteers
Charities
Charity
Charivari
Charlatan
Charlemagne
Charles
Charles I
Charles and the Oak
Charles’s Wain
Charleys
Charlotte Elizabeth
Charm
Charon’s Toll [care-un]
Charter