Monday, 7 April 2014

Chantage - Because Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word

A black envelope


Noun. Late 19th century.

Extortion of money by blackmail.

Blackmail is an ugly word, and not one that any self-respecting gentleman criminal would wish to sully himself with. Therefore, it's appropriate that English offers us an alternative in chantage, which, with its smooth syllables and dapper French pronunciation, is altogether more pleasing to the ear, thus making the otherwise invidious business of extortion a little easier on everyone.

Do please leave any comments in the box below.


  1. I was going to do this word today, but did changing-piece instead. :)
    The French pronunciation does make it sound classy, but I keep wanting to say chant-age, and it's ugly all over again! :)

    1. My default setting is to dive straight into the French pronunciation with words like this ... I must be so awfully pretentious!