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cherchez la femme

[sher-shey la-fam]
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French.
  1. look for the woman: advice offered facetiously in any situation, especially one of doubt or mystery.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for cherchez la femme

French, literally "seek the woman," on the notion that a woman is the cause for whatever crime has been committed, first used by Alexandre Dumas père in "Les Mohicans de Paris" (1864) in the form cherchons la femme. French chercher is from Latin circare, in Late Latin "to wander hither and thither," from circus "circle" (see circus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper