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bespeak and bespoke

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bespeak and bespoke

Postby MTC » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:36 am

"Bespoke," the past tense of the verb "bespeak" has a secret life as an adjective meaning custom-made (especially re clothes), or make and sell custom clothes, as in "a bespoke tailor."

Dr. Goodword might want to explain how this adjective escaped its orbit into an entirely new life.
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Postby Slava » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:22 am

The Dr.'s 2007 treatment is here: http://www.alphadictionary.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=2273

Another worthy link is this one from the BBC.
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Bespokes vs. Ready-mades

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:19 pm

I don't see the semantics that much askew. We may bespeak plane reservations, simply meaning to book ahead. Bespoke clothes, shoes, etc. are simply those which have been bespoken. That leaves the question of why they are not bespokens. But then past tenses and participles are frequently confused.
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Postby damoge » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:30 pm

why no mention of "bespoke sandwiches"? I have seen them advertized all over London...
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Postby Slava » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:01 pm

damoge wrote:why no mention of "bespoke sandwiches"? I have seen them advertized all over London...
Flashback:

"Hold the pickles,
Hold the lettuce,
Special orders
Don't upset us."
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Postby damoge » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:09 pm

Wonderful! thanks for the giggle of the day!
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