panache

Panache (French) means a plume or tuft of feathers, and comes from the Latin pinnaculum, ‘small wing or peak’ which is the diminutive of penna, ‘feather’ (from which we get quill and pen). The figurative sense of panache – charisma, dash, flair, flamboyant courage – is a reference to King Henry IV of France, hedonist and military leader, who encouraged his troops to follow the white feather (panache blanc) on his helmet as they rode into battle. Panache as an ideal finds its embodiment in the characterRead more