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#133158 - 09/17/04 04:14 PM Port or Stout?  
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dxb Offline
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UK
A UK radio advertisement for men’s suits uses the word ‘portly’, not a commonly used word these days.

Portly ~ adjective: 1. slightly overweight
2. having an air of grandeur ( archaic )

15th century. Formed from port in the sense of “bearing, manner.”


The second meaning is new to me but perhaps explains why the word seems to be applied exclusively to men, since in the 15th Century I guess women were not considered capable of having an air of grandeur!



#133159 - 09/17/04 06:14 PM Re: Port or Stout?  
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belMarduk Offline
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I've never heard women being referred to as portly even now dxb. Whenever I hear the word, a picture of a slightly weighty gentleman (not fat, just slightly weighty) with a mustache, and a pipe, pops into my head.


#133160 - 09/17/04 07:06 PM Re: Port or Stout?  
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Father Steve Offline
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My sense of the word "portly" is that it comments on body size without being negatively critical. I think it arose at a time when a certain amount of extra weight was a sign of prosperity and thus a good thing, not a politically-incorrect bad thing, like it is today.


#133161 - 09/17/04 07:37 PM Re: Port or Stout?  
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of troy Offline
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rego park
oh i thought this was a potent potables catagory! port or stout.. (ones a wine, ones a beer, but there is also porter, another kind of beer...)

excuse me, i suddenly realize i am thirsty.


#133162 - 09/18/04 12:46 AM Re: potent potables  
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Jackie Offline
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Hey, Helen, you're still thinking Jeopardy!


#133163 - 09/18/04 09:37 AM Re: Port or Stout?  
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Wordwind Offline
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Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
We could imagine portly women if the descriptions had been set up for us, say in a literary passages. I won't aspire to that high level. Briefly, however, if you imagine a very large woman with finishing school posture, impeccably groomed in very expensive business dress--a thousand-dollar-suit and three times that in accessories--she'd be well on her way toward being considered portly. Throw in a deep alto-toned voice, an air of dignity, a soupcon of middle-agedness (lord, I need a synonym for middle-agedness!), and, voila!, you've got a portly woman!


*Excuse my not looking for French accents. I'm a horrible laze in that regard.


#133164 - 09/18/04 02:17 PM Re: Port or Stout?  
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of troy Offline
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rego park
women, well certain women, never become middle aged, they become women of a certain age, and are often so described in the NY Times.




#133165 - 09/18/04 02:57 PM women of a certain age  
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Jackie Offline
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Yeah, and we don't sweat, either: we glow.


#133166 - 09/18/04 05:19 PM Re: Port or Stout?  
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Wordwind Offline
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Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Thanks for supplying the synonym, of troy.


#133167 - 09/18/04 05:21 PM Re: women of a certain age  
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Wordwind Offline
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Land of Kentucky again, Jackie: And would you say stallions sweat and mares glow? (I think all horses glow, but that's irrelevant here...)


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