Antonio Villaraigosa

In a word: mesalliance

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a relatively obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar, another brick to add to the wall of your vocabulary. This week's word:


You do not have to use the French mésalliance (pronounced may-ZAHL-ee-ans), because there is a direct English cognate, misalliance. But the French sounds more sophisticated.

The original sense of mésalliance was a marriage with a person of inferior social position. It expanded to include broader categories of mismatch, such as sharp differences in the couple’s ages or incompatible temperaments. The...