Word + Quiz: noblesse oblige

noblesse oblige nō-ˈbles-ə-ˈblēzh noun

: the duty of these of excessive rank to be honorable and beneficiant (typically used paradoxically)

The time period noblesse oblige has appeared in 9 articles on NYTimes.com up to now 12 months, together with on Nov. 30 within the obituary “George Bush, Who Steered Nation in Tumultuous Times, Is Dead at 94” by Adam Nagourney:

By any yardstick, Mr. Bush was an aristocrat, a product of moneyed Greenwich, Conn., the place he was instilled with an everlasting sense of noblesse oblige.

As a candidate, he was recognized to ask his Secret Service element to cease at visitors lights. He wrote sufficient thank-you notes, courtesy playing cards and letters of sympathy — Mr. Bush appeared to know somebody in each city in America — to fill a e book, actually.

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