In a book I’m reading I encountered this word: “ He was still actively, if unconsciously, épatéing that world.”
I was not familiar with the word and I could only find it entered in the OED.
Note that the author did not drop the final e vowel when adding the suffix ing. The OED did not enter the present participle of the word so I don’t know whether the spelling is correct, or a common usage.
The OED’s definition: épater; to flabbergast; to startle or shock the man in the street.
The word’s derivation seems to be French, for this reason, I assume, the diacritical marks. I don’t understand the diacritical mark on the last é, unless it’s a typo, or should have been omitted, because it would seem to be an awkward pronunciation.
Is anyone familiar with this word? Is it obsolete or just rarely used?