Tuesday, August 19, 2008


GENTEEL, adj.  Refined, after the fashion of a gent.
 Observe with care, my son, the distinction I reveal:
A gentleman is gentle and a gent genteel.
Heed not the definitions your "Unabridged" presents,
For dictionary makers are generally gents.
 2008 Update:  Deferential towards the manners and mores of the careless.


Unknown said...

let me be gracious about being first

Anonymous said...

GENTEEL, n. One who hits and (most particularly) misses upon gentiles, as described by (again, most particularly) those who give a dame.

A sense of anatomical correctness should compel us to render the name "gent-two-heel". Or GENTOOEEL. Which is a cross between a penguin and a moray. Talk about star-crossed lovers. As Bierce once said, in another context, "The study of zoology is full of surprises."

Anonymous said...

After just reading Cooper's response from yesterday (men's magazines and handkerchiefs), I am going to remain quiet about gents and eels.

TLP said...

Genteel: a blue-green gentleman?

Anonymous said...

A gentleman ell, generally full of fish oil and snakeyness.

Anonymous said...


A gentleman eel! Of course he most probably 'ails from 'ell.

tsduff said...

Genteel - Those amazing gently-bred ladies in the deep south who know how to cook fried chicken, make a perfect mint julep and set the perfect table - and never break a sweat.

Anonymous said...

You've been reading "Wuthering Heights" again I see.

Jim said...

Genteel: The Gent from yesterday turned slippery!

Genteel: Perhaps a little more imaginative, "what do you get when you cross a Gent with an Eel?"

Doug The Una said...

Most genteel, K.

Amoeba, I'm still spinning from all the puns. That was dense.

Sauerkraut, that might be best. Thank you.

A polite manduck, TLP?

Quilly, must be a Hawai'ian species.

Terry, that last part is the impressive part. I never got the hwole glisten instead thing.

Actonbell, if there's one thing I have learned it's that the difference between a gentleman and a criminal is the former disguises his intentions.

The next time will be the first, Cooper, once again.

A slippery eel, Jim?

Anonymous said...

Like Bierce I think of "genteel" as meaning possessing a veneer of gentility, but in literature I recollect it hides holes in gloves and other economic slippage, not slick con artistry.