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derring-do


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Action displaying heroic courage. The term comes (in the late 16th century) from late Middle English dorryng do ‘daring to do’, used by Chaucer, and, in a passage by Lydgate based on Chaucer's work, misprinted in 16th-century editions as derrynge do; this was misinterpreted by Spenser to mean ‘manhood, chivalry’, and subsequently taken up and popularized by Sir Walter Scott.


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