Etymology
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chauvinist (n.)

1863, from French chauviniste, from Chauvin (see chauvinism) + -ist. Related: Chauvinistic (1870).

The Chauvinist is a man who can only express his patriotic feelings in terms of hatred to other countries. There are still to be found in France certain people who can only show the excellence of French institutions by exhibiting the wickedness of the English. [The Home and Foreign Review, October 1863]
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male chauvinist (adj.)

by 1936; popular from 1969 (with added pig (n.) by 1970); a specialized use of chauvinism, which in late 19c. international Communist Party jargon was extended to racism and in the next generation to sexism:

In this era, inspired by the CP's struggle against racism, women in the CP coined the term male chauvinism, in a parallel with white chauvinism, to derogate the conviction of men that they were better than women. [Jane Mansbridge and Katherine Flaster, "Male Chauvinist, Feminist, and Sexual Harassment, Different Trajectories in Feminist Linguistic Innovation," "American Speech," vol. lxxx, no. 3, Fall 2005]

Related: Male-chauvinism (1969).

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chauvinism (n.)

1840, "exaggerated, blind nationalism; patriotism degenerated into a vice," from French chauvinisme (1839), from the character Nicholas Chauvin, soldier of Napoleon's Grand Armee, who idolized Napoleon and the Empire long after it was history, in the Cogniards' popular 1831 vaudeville "La Cocarde Tricolore." The meaning was extended to "excessive belief in the superiority of one's race" in late 19c. in communist jargon, and to (male) "sexism" in late 1960s via male chauvinist (q.v.).

The surname is a French form of Latin Calvinus and thus Calvinism and chauvinism are, etymologically, twins. The name was a common one in Napoleon's army, and if there was a real person at the base of the character in the play, he has not been certainly identified by etymologists, though memoirs of Waterloo (one published in Paris in 1822) mention "one of our principal piqueurs, named Chauvin, who had returned with Napoleon from Elba," which action implies the sort of loyalty displayed by the theatrical character.

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