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Definition: A wild, romping young person; wild, roving; rakish.

Pronunciation: ran-TEE-pole


Sorry, everyone– The origin of this word is unknown.

But! It was found in a 1700s English slang companion booklet, so if you’d allow me to assume that it might be somehow derived from English, I shall do so.

Why this word?

I find this term curious for two reasons: First, because it looks wrong. I mean, it doesn’t look as though it should be spelled that way, said that way, etc.

Second, because of this tidbit of dubious reliability I read somewhere: The term “rantipole” was once used as a slur against “rowdy, uncultured” Polish immigrants who migrated into British territories; in essence, referring to all Poles as “ranty Poles”. (Now, I’m not sure this awful explanation is actually true, but if anything, it makes for an interesting thing to think about.)

How do you use this word in a sentence?

Example: “His new girlfriend turned out to be a rantipole of the most unsettling kind. It’s one thing to meet someone who’s naturally joyous and excitable; it’s another thing entirely to meet someone who swaggers around as though they’re better than you are, and the rage begins to boil when the person tries to make you believe it.”


What do you think?

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Written by Veronica Jacobs

Veronica Jacobs is a fiction writer, blogger, academic editor, and sci-fi enthusiast. Currently working freelance (with a background in English Literature), she spends most of her time writing.


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