Manqué

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.

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