Dowager

With the popularity of Downtown Abbey, it’s not surprising to have the term dowager come up in conversation. What is surprising is that it was my daughter who suggested it for this blog. She’s recently become hooked on Downtown herself, and wrote a great post which you can read here. The definition of dowager is: a widow holding property or a title from her deceased husband. A dignified woman. Certainly the incredible Maggie Smith fits both of those in the character of the Dowager Countess of Grantham. And as the dowager, while always dignified, she comes up with some wickedly delicious one liners and killer stares. I think she’s my favorite character in the program. But what about the word itself? When I asked my spouse what the word called to mind for him, he said: a tool, a Scottish boot putter on-er, or a role in a household. I rather like that second one. Whether you’ve seen the Downton Abbey series or not, I think you’ll enjoy this compilation video: Sh!t The Dowager Countess Says. Despite the title, don’t worry, it’s the dowager, so it’s suitable for most audiences. Cup of tea, anyone?

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5 thoughts on “Dowager

  1. An esoteric aspect of button collecting is the category known as “Livery”. These were buttons that Livered servants wore to identify them as a member of a privledged household. The buttons usually have crowns, animals or shields and many types of symbols from heraldic designs. The interesting thing, to me, is that a woman could have her own insignia designed if she was a widow or the only surviving member of a prominent wealthy or titled family. BUT the design on the buttons had to be enclosed within a diamond “lozenge” or shape. Even an object as lowly as a button had to proclaim the woman’s marital status or lack thereof.

    • Aunt Mary! I’m so touched that you a) read my post, b) commented on it, and c) shared something fascinating that I didn’t know about. Mom told me you collect buttons. I’d love to see photos of your collection, and learn more tidbits like this. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Dowager… a word that introduces us to a world of fascinating women with fascinating stories.

    The dowager empress of China started out as a concubine and ended up ruling China.

    See, I told you…fascinating!

  3. Love your format. I wish i could contain my thoughts in such a concise manner, and thanks for the post on Dowager…it needed to be explained and I was exhausted just explain the Entail!
    Happy blogging.

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