In English, a hobbledehoy is a young person who is either clumsy or bad-mannered. (Or presumably both). But this word is both archaic and dialectal. No longer in use (or perhaps only very rarely used) today.

This word was a favourite with Anthony Trollope.

So my question is this: Is there a French equivalent for this English word, which is also dialectal or / and archaic?

Perhaps a good place to find a French equivalent for it is in a French translation of any of Trollope's numerous novels.

  • You might find some good words here: forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2027544 Jul 19, 2013 at 14:58
  • @PatrickSebastien You mean chenapan, sacripant, galopin, galvaudeux, garnement, maraud, or pendard?
    – indoxica
    Jul 19, 2013 at 15:07
  • There seems to be a discussion on which words are better. I don't have an answer to your question so I am only trying to point you in a good direction, based on what I found during my research. Jul 19, 2013 at 16:59
  • the clumsy part of the description confuses me. Any the words mentionned by @indoxica don't involve any clumsiness I think, it's almost the contrary
    – Sebas
    Jul 20, 2013 at 13:42

2 Answers 2


I think the word you're looking for could be dadais.

Then, the bad-mannered part is optional, and should not be seen as Tom Sawyers' bad manners, just that as a matter of fact that young man has bad manners from his clumsiness most probably. This makes a fundamental difference with the words already mentioned in the comments, which all really match some kind of bad intentions from the kid. (say, as much as a kid could have bad intentions)

  • Could be, indeed. Thanks for your suggestion.
    – indoxica
    Jul 20, 2013 at 14:08

"grand dadais" was usual, but didn't mean bad manners, only silliness and clumsiness.

Typically a teenager whose body grew faster than sagacity. That is the reason why it is rarely used without "grand".

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