Podcast glamour

Printable Version
Pronunciation: glæ-mêr Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass (no plural)

Meaning: An allure that comes from a combination of beauty, fashion, and style.

Notes: Be careful spelling this word. Words borrowed from French ending on OUR in British English, such as behaviour, arbour and tumour, usually lose the U in the US, where they are spelled behavior, arbor and tumor. However, glamour is an exception to the rule; it is spelled thus in both dialects. The adjective, glamorous, is spelled without the U over here and over there.

In Play: Today's is a Good Word for conveying the enchanting quality of truly beautiful women, "Marigold is a woman as wears glamour nonchalantly, as though she were completely unaware of it." While this word is not used to describe men, it can be used to depict things other than women: "The glamour of Hollywood (otherwise known as Tinseltown) is of a kind that attracts the purely superficial from around the world."

Word History: You have probably long noticed that truly glamorous women always speak grammatically. Today's word explains why that is: glamour is the result of the Scots' mispronouncing the word grammar! Well, I am either glamorous or grammarous.Believe it or not, glamorous women were originally "grammarous", at least they were in Scotland. In the Middle Ages grammar came to be the name of a witch's manual for casting spells, eventually called a gramery, which held spelling rules of a different sort. Later on, the Scots changed the pronunciation to glomery and soon were using it to refer to the magic spell itself. Since things of beauty are enchanting and spellbinding, it is no surprise that the meaning slipped over to that kind of beauty. Finally, the most Scottish Scot of all, Sir Walter Scott, spelling this word simply as glamour, brought it down from the Highlands in novels so compelling the rest of the English-speaking world had to accept it. Glamorous women and places today cast spells on us only figuratively.

Dr. Goodword,

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