- A person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way.
“She’s more than just a singer; she shares stories like a skilled raconteur in between songs.”
“Someone needs to tell Mr. Smith that we need a geology professor, not a raconteur with a story for every situation.”
“Old Hollywood raconteurs such as Bob Hope and Lucille Ball were known for their ability to tell a story or a joke almost more than for their acting skill.”
French, early 19th century
Why this word?
“Raconteur” is an example of how a root word can diverge into different meanings. The Latin word “computare” means “to calculate,” and it’s the basis for the English words “count” and, of course, “computer.” But it’s also the original root for “raconteur,” a lyrical word meaning “storyteller.” It’s borrowed from the French “raconter,” which means “to relate or recount.” We also use “recount” in English, but as a more straightforward retelling of a past situation. “Raconteur” entered English in the early 19th century.
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