- Rabelaisian refers to a style of writing that is licentious and coarse, but also humorous and satirical. It was derived from French author Frangois Rabelais (1490-1553).Rabelais was a man who had a seemingly insatiable appetite for all the gutsy pleasures of life—food, drink, and love-making. He may have felt some restraint early in life because for a time he was a Franciscan monk and then a Benedictine monk. That restrictive phase of his life, however, did not last long, and his interest soon turned to medicine. As a physician, Rabelais was well-accepted and became well-known in his own country as well as in Italy for his humanism and enlightenment. But he was ever the foe of the establishment, an immutable enemy to the blindness and bigotry of the church and state. Throughout, he was a remarkably devoted scholar, and he published works on medicine and translations throughout his life.The immortality of Rabelais rests on his ribald writing, primarily his celebrated work Gargantua and Pantagruel. The hero Gargantua, despite his elephantine build, had a kindly heart and was a helpful and peaceloving giant. From him English acquired the word gargantuan, meaning enormous or gigantic.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.