Ever wonder why the ABBA song is called “Super Trouper”? Shouldn’t it be spelled “trooper”? Spellcheck won’t help you here, because we’re talking about two different words.
A trouper is someone who keeps going under difficult circumstances without complaint. The word comes from a theatre troupe and suggests a the-show-must-go-on attitude.
A trooper is a member of a military troop. You might look to such a person for inventive swear words, but not cheerful smiles and a can-do attitude. (The same word gives us a crowd of people trooping from one place to another; that is, moving together in the same direction, as in a military manoeuvre.)
- Get enough sherry into Great Aunt Lavinia and she starts swearing like a trooper and poking people with her cane.
- Everything that could go wrong during the balloon expedition, short of fatal accident, did; but Edith was a real trouper, helping the pilot spill the ballast and keeping the passengers’ spirits up with a rousing sing-along.