Elegant Not Decadent
For a lot of us, elegant sounding words are tied to the beautiful things that the Beautiful Things wear and there are lots of examples of elegant attire in movies and very often that correlates to the word decadence. Now don’t get me wrong, I love that word (more on it in another post) but think of these movies to get my drift:
- The Great Gatsby
- Downton Abbey
- Gosford Park
- The Remains of the Day
- A Room With a View
No, I want to move beyond the cinematic boundaries and suggest other words that have elegance contained within them or are suggestive of being elegant. I have chosen just eight to start with:
Antique – Not as old as Antediluvian (see word list) and much more stylish. Very often associated with furniture, the decorative arts, books and dowager duchesses – objects which are delicate and usually very expensive.
Charm – When a man today is charming others are wary, often thinking him a sleaze, a flatterer. What an absolute shame when his signal intent is to delight or arouse admiration but I suppose the negative connotation has been brought about by the duplicity of man in merely attempting to deceive rather than charm. This is a word that requires further consideration. It will be seen in these pages again.
Exquisiteness – The piquancy of a thing that is beautiful or delicate. The word takes the object of beauty to its finest point of elevated discernment and appreciation
Gentility – Well-born ladies taking tea in the drawing room, occupied with chit-chat and cucumber sandwiches.
Grace – Fluidity of movement, languid and purposeful actions. Elegance of proportion. Pleasantness of manner and speech. The aptly named Grace Kelly.
Noblesse – Of noble birth or standing. Not necessarily nobility, per se, but of the privileged class or aristocracy
Refinement – Polished behaviour; having a discernment of taste; presenting a cultivated and civilized appearance.
Sauvity – Usually applies to gentlemen of charm (as defined) and sophistication. Definitely think James Bond’s Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Daniel Craig et al and well tailored suits or dinner jackets with bow ties. Yes, I know, we’ve finished on dress but it’s hard not to with these chaps isn’t it?
One sad comment: It is a poor reflection on our society of mediocrity that being elegant has become confused with being ‘sexy’ or ‘fashionable’. Oh dear!
Adding the words to the list.
Feel free to post a comment. I really would love you to do so.
I learn a lot some beautiful word. Learn to become a Gentility person..oh no.. its not me.. hahaha
I can see you doing just that Septiana. Do you not have an afternoon tea ritual?
I’m currently building my list of elegant words, though I’ve found an issue where sentences in and of themselves aren’t refined to any extent at all. The English language has become clipped in many different ways, cramming as much as possible into fewer words with little to now effort.
Being a singer, I’m constantly reminded of how poetic and enticing a language can be, and then I have a conversation… It’s rather disappointing.
That’s great Matthew. You are welcome to use any of my words (although you may find their definitions a little obscure!).
I agree completely with you regarding the clipping – or abuse – of the English language and I believe it is a case of ‘making do’ with a word instead of having the patience (intelligence?) to look for a more apposite word. Unfortunately that is part and parcel of the dumbing down of society everywhere where near enough is good enough.
Thanks for your comments. Let you and I continue to carry the torch of linguistic enlightenment for those in the darkness of ignorance!