• bête noire •
Pronunciation: bet nwah(r) • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: A threat, something feared and to be avoided, a bane, something that makes life miserable for an individual or organization.
Notes: Today’s word is good for representing any distasteful threat. Because it is actually a French phrase, it has no relatives in English with one possible exception. Some people, with good reason, refer to the red bug, sometimes called a chigger or jigger (the larval Thrombidium), that causes relentless itching, a true bête rouge “red beast”. In A Handful of Dust, Evelyn Waugh wrote, “He had picked up bêtes rouges in the bush and they were crawling and burrowing under his skin.”
And, boy, were the Mets itching to end that nine-game losing streak against their bête noir: the Phillies.
The Phillies practically gift-wrapped the end of the Mets’ losing streak.
Even if the Mets couldn’t seem to get any hits, Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick awarded innumerable walks. The Mets left the bases loaded, though, in each of the first two innings.
With a good showing by Mets starter Mike Pelfrey, and the bust-out offense in the bottom of the third inning, though, The Beast–red, black, or otherwise–was slain…
…well, at least for the night.
The adversaries meet again tonight for the rubber game.