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Can anyone provide me with the etymology and details of usage of the word charlâtanerie ? I came across this word while reading The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe.The following passage is from from Wikisource

There was not a particle of charlâtanerie about Dupin. "I will explain," he said, "and that you may comprehend all clearly, we will first retrace the course of your meditations, from the moment in which I spoke to you until that of the rencontre with the fruiterer in question. The larger links of the chain run thus—Chantilly, Orion, Dr. Nichols, Epicurus, Stereotomy, the street stones, the fruiterer."

A Google search for the meaning gave me only a single result. Can anyone provide me more information so that I can add this word to Wiktionary, the community powered dictionary?

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The site you linked to has meaning and pronunciation. –  simchona Aug 18 '11 at 4:23
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@simchona Yes, it has the meaning & pronunciation.Can you provide me the etymology? –  Green Noob Aug 18 '11 at 4:27
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As simchona noted, charlatanerie is a French word. It doesn't take a circumflex accent, though. –  F'x Oct 19 '11 at 18:12
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@F'x: the erroneous circumflex is at least in the 1846 Wiley edition on which the linked Wikisource version is based. I wonder if it was Poe’s own error, or just that particular edition? Unfortunately I don’t have another early edition to compare (the other versions I can find online omit the circumflex, but that could also be a later correction). –  PLL Oct 19 '11 at 18:24
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The extraneous circumflex was undoubtedly thrown in for added verisimilitude; a word isn't really French unless it has an accent on a vowel or a cédille on a c. :-) –  Peter Shor Oct 19 '11 at 23:36

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Charlatanerie is not an English word, and is a borrowing from French. According to the French version of Wiktionary, it is the same as the English word charlatanry. Charlatanry is the act of being a charlatan, which is:

A person who makes elaborate, fraudulent, and often voluble claims to skill or knowledge; a quack or fraud.

I would not add charlatanerie to the Wiktionary page, as it is not really an English word. You could, however, note that it is the French translation of charlatanry. There is already a Wiktionary entry for charlatanry available.

EtymOnline notes that the origins of charlatan are:

1610s, from Fr. charlatan (16c.), from It. ciarlatano "a quack," from ciarlare "to prate, babble," from ciarla "chat, prattle," perhaps imitative of ducks' quacking. Related: Charlatanism.

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+1, Since the novel is supposed to take place in Paris, Edgar Poe seem to have privileged French spellings in some occasions. See for instance this answer. Browsing through the text one can see multiple examples of this. –  Alain Pannetier Φ Aug 18 '11 at 6:18

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