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On dit les Français portés sur la gaudriole et obnubilés par la "chose", mais ils feraient presque figure de pères la rigueur si on les compare à leurs voisins… allemands.

What is the role of la rigueur in mais ils feraient presque figure de pères la rigueur si on les compare à leurs voisins… allemands?

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It's an idiomatic expression : forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1668667 –  Alexis Pigeon Jul 31 '13 at 12:36

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The expression "père la rigueur" is idiomatic. It is used to designate someone who is very strict or rigorous.

Others similar expressions exist, such as "père la morale" (for someone too moralizing) or "père la pudeur" (for someone too prudish).

Moreover it is often possible to create an expression of your own based on this model "père" + a noun describing a trait. It is often used negatively, but not necessarily so.

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Il s'agit d'une expression, ou plutôt d'une formule journalistique.

Un père-la-rigueur est une personne supposée incarner la rigueur par son comportement ou ses décisions. Qu'importe qu'il s'agisse de rigueur morale, financière ou de tout autre type.

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