I have searched a lot of dictionaries but still I can't understand the exact meaning of roguish in the text below.

"Ah, that's so, that's so!" Louisa said. "And what was it in my case but vanity, which deserves to get slapped down!" Her eyes were glassy and her expression roguish. "You don't think he'd had a good look at me any one time and thought the original was even worse than that poor picture, so he backed off?"

"casting away" by Alice Munro

Please tell me, What kind of a look is the writer trying to depict with "...and her expression roguish"?

  • 1
    I believe that this roguish can be read as kind of rouge. I didn't read the book so I'm not sure which sense of rouge should be used, but mainly it means either dishonest, unpredictable, or defective. – Damkerng T. Mar 5 '14 at 17:19
  • 2
    @DamkerngT. You want "rogue" there, not "rouge". Rouge is the French word for "red" and also used in English as another word for lipstick. – hairboat Mar 5 '14 at 17:22
  • Thank you Abby and Damkerng. I think "unpredictable" doesn't fit there. She has been betrayed and also she is drunk so I think it could be either "defective" or "dishonest". – user3214 Mar 5 '14 at 17:44
  • I am not sure about "dishonest" either because she is telling the truth and also she is the victim, so why would the writer mean that? – user3214 Mar 5 '14 at 17:50

Like a rogue. We'd need more context to know for sure, but the intent seems to be either "immoral" or "causing mischief." Glassy eyes suggests the speaker is drunk or on drugs?

  • Thank you, I think both of your suggestions are good. By the way would you please tell me if this is a common word nowadays? – user3214 Mar 5 '14 at 18:13
  • 1
    @GATA It is still in use, though not as much to refer to people. Think of the term "rogue state" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_state ) A common pickpocket or mugger would not be referred to as a rogue in the 21st century. – relaxing Mar 5 '14 at 18:17
  • @relaxing Could you put the definitions in your answer? Because links don't last forever! – nxx Mar 6 '14 at 1:17
  • A rogue is a free thinking mischief maker, (s)he's charming, I wouldn't think of the word "immoral". Think Han Solo. – Jolenealaska Mar 8 '14 at 18:29
  • Han Solo had his immoral moments -- smuggling suspicious packages for a gangster, concerned only with monetary reward for rescuing the princess. (He later redeems himself, yes.) – relaxing Mar 12 '14 at 20:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy