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What does "bęte noire" mean?

(G. Balagopal, Trichy)

First, let's deal with the pronunciation. The first word "bęte" is pronounced like the word "bet". The second word is pronounced "nwa". The "n" sounds like the "n" in "nip", "no", and "nice". The "w" is pronounced like the "w" in "wit", "win", and "will" and the final "a" sounds like the "a" in "par", "far", and "jar".

This is a French expression meaning "black beast". In English, it is used to refer to something or someone that you hate. The expression can also be used to refer to someone or something that annoys you. You know, someone who is a real pain in the neck! Here are a few examples.

* Everyone knows who President Bush's bęte noire is.

* Physics was my bęte noire when I was in school.

*Mala's bęte noire is dust on the furniture.

S. UPENDRAN

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