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Thread: beau

  1. #1
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default beau

    " It's used both for gilfriend and boyfrien or just boyfriend? Many dictionaries say it's old-fashioned. Is it?

  2. #2
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    Tullia is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: beau

    It's very old-fasioned, but rather charming.

    My gut instinct says it's exclusively used for boyfriend.


    EDIT: saying the modern equivalent is "boyfriend" is a little misleading. I think it could just be someone interested and trying to court you, not necessarily someone you are in a committed relationship with.
    Last edited by Tullia; 30-Sep-2010 at 14:15.

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    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: beau

    "Beau" is male.

  4. #4
    Pedroski is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: beau

    It is from the French: I have heard someone say 'Il est ton beau?' in France, but that was an old man who said it. Feminine would be 'Elle est ta belle.?' I think. My grandmother would have used the word.

    beau
    "attendant suitor of a lady," 1720, from Fr. beau "the beautiful,"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: beau

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullia View Post
    It's very old-fasioned, but rather charming.

    My gut instinct says it's exclusively used for boyfriend.


    ...
    And it's a bit too easy to say, 'the feminine is belle. This is true for French, but not for English. In English 'a belle' has no social conntation at all; it's just a prettified woman - I say 'prettified' because it is not just an attractive woman; it involves make-up and flouncy clothes. The word often appears in the expression 'belles and beaux'. (The plural 'beaux' - which Francophones may have difficulty in pronouncing always with a /z/ - allows for the brilliant rhyme [Cole Porter?] 'swell beaux'/'elbows'. )

    b

  6. #6
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    Default Re: beau

    I've just thought of another expression that uses 'belle' -' belle of the ball' (she's not attached to anyone - at least, not by virtue of the word 'belle'). The 'belle of the ball' is just the most attractive female participant.

    b

  7. #7
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    Default Re: beau

    The belle of the ball had so many beaux,
    All of whom begged for the gift of a dance.
    She danced and danced, and enjoyed the romance -
    Until, of course, they all trod on her toes!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: beau

    Beau is definitely French. We mostly use it for males, though we can use it for neutral stuff eg << Il fait beau >> meaning 'The weather is nice'.

  9. #9
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: beau

    Quote Originally Posted by philadelphia View Post
    Beau is definitely French. We mostly use it for males, though we can use it for neutral stuff eg << Il fait beau >> meaning 'The weather is nice'.
    Do we have any word to say the same thing for the female part?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: beau

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    Do we have any word to say the same thing for the female part?
    As far as I'm concerned, you can't use 'beau' for females in French.

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