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French word of the day: Rixe

French word of the day: Rixe
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
This word has been appearing in headlines recently but it may be one you have not come across in casual conversation.
Why do I need to know rixe?
 
Because it’s often used in the news to talk about street violence.
 
What does it mean?
 
Une rixe is a very violent affray or a brawl between two or more people that takes place in public. It is often used to talk about gang violence or règlement de comptes (settling of scores).
 
It comes from the Latin word rixa, meaning violent or noisy quarrel.
 
The word is quite formal, and falls in the category of language soutenu, which means you’re more likely to encounter it in news reports and in literature than in informal conversation.
 
Use it like this
 
Un jeune homme a été tué lors d’une rixe entre bandes – A young man was killed during a brawl between gangs
 
La discussion finit par une rixe sanglante – The argument ended in a violent brawl
 
Synonyms
 
Une bagarre – This is a more common, informal noun that you will hear to describe fights or brawls, but it’s generally not as violent as une rixe.
 

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