Elle en avait dilapidé plus de 45 millions.

Elle en avait dilapidé plus de 45 millions.

ay lah naa-vay dee-laa-pee-day plewd kaa-raht-saa mee-LYAW. Click below to hear this.*



She spent more than 45 million of it.

We’re back to our lady swindler (link). What did she do with all that money? Evidently she is fond of cars–fancy ones, because she bought four BMWs and a Ferrari.

The fun word here is dilapidé. Oh yes, in English, it means dilapidated, as in a house that is falling down. But that’s only marginally related to what’s happening here. Dilapider is what you can do to a pile of money, whether it’s yours or someone else’s.

If this were her own money–an inheritance, for example–we would say that she wasted it or threw it away. But there seems to be no word in English to specify the spending of ill-gotten gains. (Yes, I asked a lawyer. Two of them, in fact.) The crime is in the stealing, not the spending, and yet she compounded the wrong by blithely spending the funds. That’s why dilapider is such a great word. It means to spend, but with a moral judgment attached.

*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file:

dilapide_plus_de_45_millions.mp3

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