enfant terrible

An enfant terrible is an unconventional, blunt, and sometimes offensive or embarrassing person. Many enfants terribles are successful or famous, which they may think excuses their behavior.

The phrase enfant terrible literally means "terrible child" in French, and originally this is the way it was used in English too — to describe a badly-behaved child whose speech tends to be so direct and candid that he embarrasses his parents. The meaning changed over time to mean an artistically successful person who behaves like a spoiled child.

Definitions of enfant terrible
  1. noun
    a person whose unconventional behavior embarrasses others
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    type of:
    nonconformist, recusant
    someone who refuses to conform to established standards of conduct
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