Mot Juste

By Deane Barker

Definition: the perfect response or saying for an occasion

I believe it’s literal French for “right word.”

Why I Looked It Up

On Babylon 5, Garibaldi said something snarky to Bester, who responded (paraphrasing):

“Ah, Mr. Garibaldi, I can always count on you for the perfect mot juste.”

Note that I remember him saying “perfect mot juste,” which doesn’t translate well (“perfect right word”?), but works when if you consider “mot juste” as a singular noun, not a phrase.

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