Monday, December 30, 2013


bespoke [bɪˈspoʊk] a.

1.) Custom-made. Said especially of clothes.
2.) Making or selling custom-made clothes: ''a bespoke tailor'' (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

Etymology: Old English be-, weak or stressless form of the preposition and adverb (biᴁ), by. The original Teutonic form was, as in Gothic, bi, with short vowel, probably cognate with second syllable of Greek ἀµϕί, Latin ambi; in Old High German and early Old English, when it had the stress, as a separate word, and in composition with a noun, it was lengthened to (, ), while the stressless form, in composition with a verb or indeclinable word, remained bi-; in later Old English, as in Middle High German and modern German, the latter was obscured to be- (also occasionally in Old English as an unaccented form of the preposition): cf. Old English bígęng, practice, bigangan, begangan, to practise + spoke, from Old English sprecan.

"Not impossibly, as it struck me on reflection, the spiteful individual might have a theory: he might conceive that, if a catholic chancery decree went forth, restoring to every man the things which truly belonged to him—your things to you, Cæsar's to Cæsar, mine to me—in that case, a particular brickbat fitting, as neatly as if it had been bespoke, to a contusion upon the calf of his own right leg, would be discovered making its way back into my great-coat pockets. Well, it might be so" ("A Sketch of My Childhood," Thomas De Quincey, 1851).

(Il sarto, Pietro Longhi, ~1741)