Rouge or Rogue?

I always had a hard time remembering how to spell rogue and rouge until Sarah Palin adopted the catch phrase "going rogue." Here's how her slogan finally helped me remember.

Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read

"Going Rogue" or "Going Rouge"

Sarah Palin wrote a book called Going Rogue. To make fun of her, a group of editors and writers put together a book called Going Rouge, and it got me thinking about the difference in spelling between rogue and rouge, so I looked up the origin of both words to see if I could come up with a trick to make it easier to remember the different spellings.

Rouge comes from the French word for “red.”

Nobody is quite sure where rogue comes from, but it may come from a word called roger (spelled like the name Roger) that means “uncontrollable or beggar.”

To remember that rogue starts with rog, I now think of Sarah Palin, of “going rogue” fame, standing next to an imaginary man named Roger.


Rogue image courtesy of Shutterstock.

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.

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