Pulchritude

I read this word for the first time recently. Or maybe I only noticed it for the first time, but I feel I’d have remembered a word like pulchritude.  Do you know what it means? If not, pause and take a guess (no peeking!) To me, it sounds like a cross between puke and mulch. Neither of these evokes something lovely or beautiful. And yet…that’s exactly what it means! It’s from the Middle English and means physical beauty. Really.  As in, Nicole Kidman is a radiant example of feminine pulchritude. In researching this word, I came across some fun websites, such as this tumblr site, Poisonous Pulchritude. And this blog, Pulchritude Fest.  Check ‘em out. And I dare you to say this word aloud to a beautiful woman or man and see if they give you a quizzical look.

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9 thoughts on “Pulchritude

  1. I think it’s funny this is a new word to you. It’s one I’ve known a long time. had – still have – a friend who was fond of using it as in someone or another is pulchritudinous. Its almost as fun to say as perp atuity.

    • I think you may be far more well read than me. If I came across this word before, it didn’t strike me or stick with me as it did this time. Then again, since starting this blog, I pay a lot more attention to words. And you’re right; it is fun to say!

      • reading remembering – 2 different things. I always thot those really bulky cars 30s-40s? with all the curves had beaucoup pulchritude. I think I associate it with curviness and shape vs. “just” beauty. fun to play with words.

  2. Pulchritude? I know all about that word. Wrote an article about the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit edition and their blatant display of feminine pulchritude. #ThisAintMyFirstRodeo

  3. Back in the day I was once called a gorgeous specimen of feminine pulchritude. I was quite insulted! I thought it meant zaftig. I was going for willowy.
    Mary

  4. Pingback: Sobriquet « Bon Mots

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