épater les bourgeois

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épater les bourgeois shock people who have attitudes or views perceived as conventional or complacent; the comment ‘Il faut épater le bourgeois [One must astonish the bourgeois]’ is attributed to Baudelaire; the phrase is also attributed to Privat d'Anglemont (c.1820–59) in the form ‘Je les ai épatés, les bourgeois [I flabbergasted them, the bourgeois].’