Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
exquisite (adj.) early 15c., “carefully selected,” from Latin exquisitus “choice,” literally “carefully sought out,” from past participle stem of exquirere “search out thoroughly,” from ex- “out” (see ex-) + quaerere “to seek” (see query (v.)).
Originally in English of any thing (good or bad, torture and diseases as well as art) brought to a highly wrought condition, sometimes shading into disapproval. The main modern meaning, “of consummate and delightful excellence” is first attested 1579, in Lyly’s “Euphues.” Related: Exquisitely; exquisiteness. The noun meaning “a dandy, fop” is from 1819. Bailey’s Dictionary (1727) has exquisitous “not natural, but procured by art.”
Here’s another word that most of us know how to use. The development of the word, however, was a little surprising to me. From “carefully selected or sought out” to “any thing brought to a highly wrought condition,” including pain. Exquisite pain? I think I’ll pass on that, thanks.
There was a time when an exquisite (noun) was a fop, or dandy.
These were men who spent hours and hours on their wigs, makeup, outfits and jewels. It was a rather sneery term, actually. To be called an Exquisite didn’t exactly mean you were a manly man.
These days, we think of lovely things, works of art, as being exquisite. We also give a nod to women who just seem to have the innate ability to look perfect all the time as having exquisite taste.
We also enjoy an exquisitely prepared meal, or even just a cup of unusually good coffee. That’s what I’m doing right now. Enjoying exquisite coffee at my leisure.
No church for me this morning. I’m not quite ready for that after having had a small surgery last week. It’s been a bit harder than I expected, more painful and more side effects. I’m worn out and not willing to have to keep up appearances for a couple of hours. And no one wants to hear an organ recital 🙂
I’m sure that by next Sunday I’ll be restored to exquisite good health.