“Bespoke”

Adj. Custom-made. Traditionally, in reference to men’s clothing, especially suits; now more commonly metaphorical. “Until recently, folks looking to buy themselves a Bentley Arnage had a difficult choice: the Red Label or the Green Label. Either way, they got acres of premium hides, hand-polished hardwoods, a ”bespoke audio system,’ … (New York Times, January 28, 2001)/”The company is currently developing its own bespoke website which will go live when the Amazon deal ends in 2013.” (Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2011) Google Ngram.

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4 responses to ““Bespoke”

  1. great blog idea! we have been informally following britishisms for severals yrs.!

  2. I first saw “bespoke” used in a sartorial sense in an article about evening wear, during last year’s run-up to the royal wedding. And, when one looks up the definition, that’s the first, and often the only, meaning that pops up.
    Whatever happened to the meaning for which I’ve always used the term, i.e., as the past tense of “bespeak”? One must dig deep to find that meaning even mentioned.

  3. Bespoke has re-entered current usage because of the increase in custom made kitchens, as oppose to the ones you put together yourself from standardised units from, say, IKEA. In the UK, kitchen units in standard widths and different finishes, can also be bought from the ‘sheds’. This is the slang for our equivalent of Home Depot.(I think!). Bespoke kitchens are what we all would like could we afford them. British homes are usually smaller than you might be used to, pokey really, and bespoke means you can make us of every last bit of space.

  4. An ad for this NYC firm popped onto my FB page today: https://www.bespokepost.com/contact

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