An interesting word, 'vercingetorism', was used colloquially. This is obviously in reference to the (last) Gaulish leader before Caesar conquered Gaul. It is most likely a nonce word (a one-time coinage).

The context in question is at this video game discussion site:

Foulard vif eclair + sandale d'hermes sur les 3 persos = Jauge ATB complete des le debut du combat + auto célérité + ATB +10% en vitesse (en + d'autocélérité :fou: )

et reponse

t'as l'intention d'affronter vercingetorism avec tout ca?

Even though it is not a dictionary word, it is a plausible new creation. Except I can't tell exactly what the attitude one is supposed to get from it. The context of video games is that one has boasted (it seems) of one's weapons, with the reply being something about that boast (the "vercingetorism").

What sort of attitude is implied by 'vercingetorisme'? What are the nuances of this word? Duty to a lost cause? Bravery in the face of impossible odds? Honor in defeat?

  • 2
    Within the given context, I can only see a typo here. Searching a root to this supposedly-made-on-purpose substantive is over-explanation to me. Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 10:27

3 Answers 3


There is a parallel to draw with Bonapartisme.

  • in it's first sense, it is the political group that supports Napoléon Bonaparte.
  • in a broader and more frequent sense, it is the political thinking inspired by Napoléon, i.e. a strong centralized power, based on popularity, and proning excellency.

That being said, that's a neolgoism that I have never heard or seen before. And a google search to Vercingétorisme gives extremely few results. The extract you quote is in a video-game forum, from a post by someone whose pseudonym is "Vercingétorix".

In conclusion, I see it as a meaningless play on words, exactly like you could say you are for mitchism.

  • OK, but for such a neologism, can you give any content details about what an 'isme' based on Vercingetorix would be? When someone says, 'That guy is somehwat naapoleonic' I can guess that they men the person has an inferiority complex or is bent on conquest beyond their means. What does 'vercingetorisme' lead you to think?
    – Mitch
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 17:10
  • 3
    No sorry, just ask the author of the post what it meant, because it doesn't have a meaning in French.
    – rds
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 17:15
  • @Mitch Your analysis could be somewhat right if the original context was along the line of C'est du vercingétorisme ! or Ne tombons pas dans un vercingétorisme injustifié !, but here it's used to refer to someone, obviously, so I fail to see what link this could have with Bonapartisme... Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 10:31

There is another answer to consider :

In the french Film Asterix et Obélix : mission Cléôpatre, the actor Jamel Debbouze has a hard time saying names correctly, e.g. he says "Astérixme" or "Obélixme". This became a somewhat popular way of play on words and is still used sometimes.

Vercingétorix using the same root I think this is what the user was trying to mean.


I think in the context you cited, it is simply a mistake and the person meant to write "Vercingetorix", not "vercingetorism".

As for what Vercingetorix means (which is not the question, I reckon), it means "Great king of the warriors".

  • 1
    Or Great warrior king, as far as I know no one is sure.
    – Evpok
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 12:44
  • 1
    Some believe Vercingetorix is more of a title than a name, and his real name is actually unknown.
    – raphink
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 12:46
  • 1
    Same for all those -rix-named monarchs, I know :)
    – Evpok
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 13:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.