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#133178 - 09/20/04 04:25 PM Re: Port or Stout?  
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jheem Offline
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but the only one I can think of that includes the element of being somewhat overweight in its definition is rubenesque.

Rubenesque has as much of a right to wordhood as zaftig. Problem, for me, with matronly is that the word emphasizes the motherly or widows weeds: the state of pomp, not plump. Similar in fact to portly which seems to have been tied between stoutness and stateliness ... And how does one describe those chubby little putti that one sees in so much baroque art? Another word that comes to mind, in its etymological rather than its English meaning, is avoirdupois 'having some pounds'. While a zaftig woman can have an ample bosom, we wouldn't say that she herself, synecdochically, was amble, and in our saying it be kind in intent.

Good question, dxb. Perhaps somebody else has plumbed the plump and weighed the weighty.


#133179 - 09/20/04 07:32 PM Re: Port or Stout?  
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Wordwind Offline
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Rubenesque suggests to me, also, many pounds overweight. Matronly sounds as though it could cover fat, as belm' suggests, and even medium-sized women. I can imagine a skinny, matronly woman, too. Correct me if you think that matronly women categorically cannot be skinny.

But portly implies some degree of dignity--and I can't limit that adjective to men. My imagination easily configures a roomful of portly women, none of them necessarily matronly, but many of them Rubenesque behind the curtains, so to speak.


#133180 - 09/21/04 01:40 AM Re: Portly, rubanesque, matronly  
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Bobyoungbalt Offline
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I don't have quite the same idea of these 3 words as some of you.

To me, rubensesque (as I write it) denotes well-endowed and welll-upholstered women (if you look at a Rubens painting you get the idea) but no so much so as "portly" or "stout". In my vocabulary, "stout" is a euphemism for plain old fat, or obese (but not excessivly so), and was so used by my grandmother who was herself stout. I would not apply "portly" to a woman. To me, "portly" is applied to a man who is stout but also big in general with an impressive carriage, like J.P. Morgan or King Eddie 7, but not to the point of looking like W.H. Taft.

In my view, and as I use it, "matronly" does not necessarily have anything to do with size, although most matronly women are bigger than average. It has to do with age, also. A young woman who looks matronly is indeed a sorry sight. A perfect example is Queen Lizzie Twoth. She's not fat, nor ancient, but her clothes, carriage, & general stiffness of affect is what makes her matronly in my view. The greatest example I have ever seen was the mother of a friend of mine, who was in her 50s, somewhat heavy but not excessively, always very conservatively dressed in long dresses and carefully corseted, old-fashioned piled-up hairdo and a very dignified carriage. When she walked into a room it was like the Queen Mary coming into the dock.


#133181 - 09/22/04 11:56 PM Re: Port or Stout?  
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amnow Offline
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Wouldn't that woman be 'stately'?


#133182 - 09/23/04 12:01 AM Re: portly stately matronly  
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Wordwind Offline
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She could be stately, but a woman could be tall, thin and stately. However, a portly woman would be hefty as a prerequisite to her possible stateliness. If she hugs people and hands them freshly made pumpkin muffins from her attache case as she grandly parades by at her finest galleon-styled pace, then maybe she's matronly, too.

[*The above was just a little kidding. I am NOT being serious here.]


#133183 - 09/23/04 12:07 PM Re: portly stately matronly  
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If she hugs people and hands them freshly made pumpkin muffins from her attache case as she grandly parades by at her finest galleon-styled pace, then maybe she's matronly, too.







#133184 - 09/25/04 05:55 PM Re: Port or Stout?  
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grapho Offline
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voila!, you've got a portly woman!

A woman can't be "portly", Wordwind, because she buttons her shirt on the starboard side.

On the other hand, some women 'dock' more than simply 'arrive'.



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