bespeak and bespoke

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 1074
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

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.

User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 5254
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

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.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
Posts: 4253
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA
Contact:

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.
• The Good Dr. Goodword

damoge
Lexiterian
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:49 pm
Location: End of the Earth

Postby damoge » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:30 pm

why no mention of "bespoke sandwiches"? I have seen them advertized all over London...
Everything works out, one way or another

User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 5254
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

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."
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

damoge
Lexiterian
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:49 pm
Location: End of the Earth

Postby damoge » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:09 pm

Wonderful! thanks for the giggle of the day!
Everything works out, one way or another


Return to “Good Word Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest