Debaucher versus debauchee

According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, a "person given to debauchery" is a debauchee, not (as I might have thought) a debaucher. Debaucher isn't listed.

But it makes sense. If debauch means "destroy the moral purity of", then someone who has had their moral purity destroyed (and as a result is given to debauchery) could indeed be a debauchee (object, not subject).

By the way, the Google test on this one is close, with debauchee throwing up 78,200 results and debaucher pipping it with 104,000. Brilliantly, limiting the search to pages from the UK leads to a dead heat with 2,340 results for each word.


PS. Email me photos of your own debauchery (nothing NSFW please) and I will choose the best one to illustrate this post...

3 comments:

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Ooh, this post was really interesting. I, too, would have thought the person would have been a "debaucher"--but the explanation you give about why the person is a "debauchee" (object) totally makes sense to me now!

JD said...

Glad you liked it - and glad I make sense to people other than myself sometimes!

The Ridger, FCD said...

I think those who engage in debauchery are both debauched and debauching - like divorcee, I imagine.