On the Waterfront

Manqué [mahng-key] (feminine, manquée) is a term used in reference to a person who has failed to live up to a specific expectation or ambition. It is usually used in combination with a profession: for example, a career civil servant with political prowess who nonetheless never attained political office might be described as a ‘politician manqué.’

It can also be used relative to a specific role model; a second-rate method actor might be referred to as a ‘Marlon Brando manqué.’ The term derives from the past participle of the French verb manquer (‘to miss’). In English, it is used in the manner of a French adjective: coming after the noun it is modifying instead of before.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.