C'est un privé.

English Translation

He’s a gumshoe.

privé here is short for detective privé aka private detective or PI in english



mid 19th century (in the sense ‘galoshes or soft-soled shoes’, suggesting stealth): the current sense dates from the early 20th century.

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or ‘dick’, which could either be a shortened form of detective or come from the verb ‘to dick’, which means to watch.

I’ve never heard dick used as a verb to mean “to watch”. Is this regional slang from somewhere?

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Looks like a romani term? Seems questionable

I’m guessing this is just an aside, but an interesting one. :slightly_smiling_face:

[Rom. dik, to look, ult. Hindi dekh-nā, to look]

From The Phrase Finder:

To that list we can add ‘have a dekko’. ‘Dekho’ is a Hindi word meaning ‘look’. The expression first began to be used by the British in India in the middle of the 19th century and soon migrated back home with soldiers on leave.