Tuesday, May 17, 2011

bedizen



bedizen [bɪˈdaɪzən] v. t.

1.) To dress out, especially in a vulgar or gaudy fashion (Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Edition).

Etymology: Possibly Middle Dutch disen, to prepare a distaff with flax for spinning, from Middle Low German dise, disene, bunch of flax.

"Prithee, young one, who art thou, and what has ailed thy mother to bedizen thee in this strange fashion? Art thou a Christian child,—ha? Dost know thy catechism? Or art thou one of those naughty elfs or fairies whom we thought to have left behind us, with other relics of Papistry, in merry old England?" (The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850).
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There we go, a nice Dutch word. There's my answer to those critics who claimed I was only promoting French words. But there does seem to be some truth in the claim that high-status, literary words tend to be French. Interestingly, there also seems to be a deeply-rooted bitterness about this very fact: the complicated, ambivalent relationship between the English and the French in a nutshell. Of course, there also seems to be a combination of respect and disdain for the use of high-status words simpliciter. But that's something of an uncomfortable subject for me.

37 comments:

The Words Crafter said...

At some point, parents bedizen their children in such a way as to later inspire much good natured boo-hooing. Fun word!

WanderingWriter said...

So, a different way to tell someone their clothes are tacky...

Solsby Kid said...

Cool word :)

Z said...

Weather is nasty in NYC this morning. Rainy & Dark!!!
I have a urge to bedizen!-YEAH!

Nom de Plume said...

Excellent word!

Marian said...

they bedizen before they go out just so some losers will whistle to them. am i using it right? nice blog btw!

Kristin H said...

Great word, must be remembered and used!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Ignorant people always resent those who use words they don't know. They take it personally, as an affront to them.

Trisha said...

Cool word!! I like the Dutch language. I found it relatively easy in the end to figure out what people were talking about while I was in the Netherlands ;)

DEZMOND said...

I wish you gave us a picture to illustrate this word :)

Zombie said...

Lady Gaga bedizen dresses all the time!

shari said...

So THAT'S where they got the "bedazzler" from! (Ha ha! Just kidding.) Those gadgets always made clothes tackier, and I thought they were hilarious.

I had no idea we had many Dutch words in our language... very interesting! Don't get me wrong, though, I loved all the French words. That was the language I took in high school and college!

CandleintheDark said...

Interesting bit of word :D

lifeshighway said...

yeah, I know this word. I would like a gold star, please.

strawberry Princess said...

love the word, I was thinking of something else though before i did read what it means. hehe

jamiesaur said...

I would have never guessed that that is what the word meant. lol

Kicking Rocks said...

i bedizen before taking a shower

Fang said...

But I feel so crassy >:3

Dave said...

Nothing wrong with a bit of bedizen.

Banacek said...

If it weren't for the French, we wouldn't have any words at all.

JayJay said...

Interesting. When looking at the word it almost seems like it was coined recently but, obviously, it wasn't.

Rob said...

Finally a word to describe lady gaga!

Meri said...

My first instinct was that it was "a denizen of a bed," but I love the real definition! I think it describes me...

Kait Lisbeth said...

This has been one of my favourite words since I was 13! Love it :)

Malkavian said...

I feel that my vocabulary will gain more power by visiting your blog

Mercurio said...

Sounds like old english, I like the way it sounds hehe

G said...

nice word - not one i'd heard of before...so cheers :)

Maggie said...

cool word :) !!

Jay said...

i bedizen everyday. ;)

Megan said...

You bedizen on a regular basis, don't you?! I get that vibe from you!

Wintermute said...

i remember that passage, good pick, and good word.

MRanthrope said...

Scarlet Letter...suddenly i'm back in High School English reading aloud because everyone else sucked/ditched.

Astronomy Pirate said...

Late to the party, but Britney Spears is very bedizen.

Necroticism said...

I totally bedizen myself.

Intraman said...

Nice word! i had never heard of that one! i heard French words enjoy this high statut because French was once the language used by the English nobility in the King's court (kinda like Latin used to be favored over vernacular European languages, or to a certain extent like Greek for the Romans), but I might be wrong.

JayPower said...

Cool word, cant say it without sounding dutch tho lol ;D

Endless said...

*takes notes*

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