Printable Version
Pronunciation: vog Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. The current popular fashion, mode, or style. 2. The things that define a current fashion.

Notes: Today's word remains so closely associated with the French language that it has not produced a large family of English derived words. Voguey and voguish have been tried on for adjectives but do not seem to have stuck. This noun is also used in rap slang as a word for wire rim wheels, as 'cruising on vogues', probably because they are (or were) in vogue.

In Play: Vogue can be a state of mind or a fashion status: "I find myself longing for the old ducktail hair style every time I see one of the styles that are currently in vogue." It can also be the things that define the current vogue: "I miss the days when poodle skirts were the vogue."

Word History: Not only are vogues subject to radical change, the word vogue has undergone mind-boggling changes over its lifetime. The original Proto-Indo-European root of vogue is wegh- "to go by means of transport". We are not surprised that wagon came from the same root, but weigh apparently goes back to an original sense of "carried on scales". Latin vehere "to carry" yielded a noun vehiculum, which was borrowed by English as vehicle. But the Old Low German verb wogon "to sway, rock" was nicked by Old French as voguer "to sail, row". The noun from this verb, vogue, had shifted from "rowing" (rocking the boat) to "fashion" by 1571 when English assimilated it.

Dr. Goodword,

P.S. - Register for the Daily Good Word E-Mail! - You can get our daily Good Word sent directly to you via e-mail in either HTML or Text format. Go to our Registration Page to sign up today!