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  1. #1
    GoodTaste is offline Key Member
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    fond women love to buy Adulterate complexion

    I guess that "fond women" is no more used these days. Today we use "lovely women". Am I on the right track?


    ==============================
    show one's true colors, to
    To reveal oneself frankly; to admit one’s genuine opinions or character. This term, the converse of sail under false colors, similarly alludes to the practice of deceiving the enemy by flying a friendly flag. However, it also was applied to cosmetics used to conceal or enhance a complexion. Thus Thomas Dekker wrote (A Description of a Lady by Her Lover, ca. 1632), “The reason why fond women love to buy Adulterate complexion: here ’tis read,—False colours last after the true be dead.” The metaphor was used for one’s genuine character by numerous writers, Dickens among them: “He didn’t venture to come out in his true colours” (The Old Curiosity Shop, 1840).

    Source: Free Dictionary

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: fond women love to buy Adulterate complexion

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodTaste View Post
    I guess that "fond women" is no more used these days.
    It could be, but it would have a very different meaning from your quote.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 20-Oct-2020 at 17:39. Reason: Fixed quote box

  3. #3
    GoodTaste is offline Key Member
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    Re: fond women love to buy Adulterate complexion

    What is the definition for "complexion" here? Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English has five definitions for noun and I find none very suitable here:


    1. the natural color, texture, and appearance of the skin, esp. of the face:a clear, smooth, rosy complexion.
    2. appearance;
      aspect;
      character:His confession put a different complexion on things.
    3. viewpoint, attitude, or conviction:one's political complexion.
    4. Physiology(in old physiology) constitution or nature of body and mind, regarded as the result of certain combined qualities.
    5. [Obs.]
      nature;
      disposition;
      temperament.

  4. #4
    GoesStation is online now Moderator
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    Re: fond women love to buy Adulterate complexion

    Without more context, number one is the most likely.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. #5
    GoodTaste is offline Key Member
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    Re: fond women love to buy Adulterate complexion

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Without more context, number one is the most likely.
    Buy (fake) color of the skin? What is that? Sounds as if people got skinned to make the color.

    I guess that is man-made color from natural substances.


  6. #6
    PeterCW is offline Member
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    Re: fond women love to buy Adulterate complexion

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodTaste View Post
    Buy (fake) color of the skin? What is that? Sounds as if people got skinned to make the color.

    I guess that is man-made color from natural substances.


    To a native speaker, despite the archaic language, it is clearly a reference to cosmetics.
    Retired magazine editor and native British English speaker - not a teacher

  7. #7
    GoesStation is online now Moderator
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    Re: fond women love to buy Adulterate complexion

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodTaste View Post
    Buy (fake) color of the skin? What is that? Sounds as if people got skinned to make the color.

    I guess that is man-made color from natural substances.

    Women used the cosmetic to lighten their skin coloring. In other words, they bought a new, fairer, complexion.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: fond women love to buy Adulterate complexion

    And many use fake tans to look darker.

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