Panurge

Panurge

[pan-urj; Fr. pa-nyrzh]
Panurge is one of the principal characters in the Pantagruel (especially the third and fourth books) of Rabelais, an exceedingly crafty knave, a libertine, and a coward.

At some point, he shows he can speak many languages (German, Italian, Scottish, Dutch, Spanish, Danish, Hebrew, Ancient Greek, Latin and French), including some of the first examples of a constructed language.

In French, he appears in the set phrase mouton de Panurge, after a story in which he buys a sheep from the merchant Dindenault and then, for revenge, makes the sheep jump off a cliff. The rest of the sheep in the herd stupidly jump after it in spite of the shepherd.

Other uses

References

http://www.avignon-et-provence.com/provence/provence-tourism/sheep-herds.htm

http://www.avignon-et-provence.com/provence/provence-tourism/sheep-herds.htm

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