1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mignons, Les

MIGNONS, LES. In a general sense the French word mignon means “favourite,” but the people of Paris used it in a special sense to designate the favourites of Henry III. of France, frivolous and fashionable young men, to whom public malignity attributed dissolute morals. According to the contemporary chronicler Pierre de l'Estoile, they made themselves “exceedingly odious, as much by their foolish and haughty demeanour, as by their effeminate and immodest dress, but above all by the immense gifts the king made to them.” The Guises appear to have stirred up the ill will of the Parisians against them. From 1576 the mignons were attacked by popular opinion, and historians accredited without proof the scandalous stories of the time. The best known of the mignons were the dukes of Toyeuse and of Epernon.