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Touche or touché

Touché  means that someone has said something especially witty or knowledgeable in a debate or discussion. Sometimes it is used to compliment a particularly funny comeback to a joke or insult.

Touché is an interjection borrowed from the sport of fencing. It is French from the word meaning to touch. In fencing the term is used to admit that your opponent has hit you.

The term has been used in English since the turn of the twentieth century. However, the accent mark is still listed as the correct spelling in all dictionaries. The term is commonly used in English without the accent mark, but we suspect this is mainly because most English speakers are not familiar with typing on a computer with accents and not because of any inherent dislike of the mark itself.


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The dictionary-approved spelling may change over time, but is unlikely considering the accent mark helps with pronunciation as well. It marks the word as two syllables instead of one (too shay, not toosh).

Examples

Touché, my American Girl-reading little one, touché. [All Voices]

They took a deep breath, and hours later, acquired starter Alfredo Simon from the Cincinnati Reds in a five-player trade. Touché. [USA Today]

Or perhaps it was just Gareth’s way of saying “Touché” to the tainted meat mishap. [Huffington Post]

But she was spot on. It was much easier for me to study and criticize Turks for their treatment of the Kurds rather than analyze my own feelings towards black Americans and the policies both past and present toward the minorities in my native country. Touché, Ceren, touché. [Todays Zaman]

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