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:
Bruit (pronounced BROOT) has a sense as a noun, meaning "noise," "clamor," or "rumor." Sometimes even "fame" or "reputation." But we mainly use it, when we use it at all, as a verb.
The word comes from the French bruire, "to make a noise" or "roar." It has an antecedent in Vulgar Latin bragere, "to bray."
As a verb for "report" or "spread rumor," it frequently occurs as a verb phrase with the preposition about. Rumors are bruited about, noised about, reported. The association with rumor leaves the verb faintly disreputable. The sense of "celebrate" or "make famous," as in Byron's Childe Harold, "Thy name / Was ne'er more bruited in men's minds than now," has largely faded.
Example: From History Wars: The Enola Gay and Other Battles for the American Past: "What academics have going for them, despite the cartoon characterizations their opponents bruit about, is the immense body of scholarly work they have put together over the past generation."