Wordy Wednesday: Dapper

Welcome to Wordy Wednesday. As authors, editors, marketers and publishers, words breathe life into our passions, our thoughts, our images, and our feelings. They combine to create the books, the settings, and the characters that have emerged as important members of our extended families. Such is the love we bestow on even the smallest of words.

Each Wednesday, we endeavor to pontificate on the unique qualities of a specific word, a favorite word, and a special word, a global word or, well, any word. Are you ready to join in? Good.

Today’s Wordy Wednesday, is:

Definition: neat and trim in dress or appearance, stylish, attractive and of high quality.

Dapper is as dapper does, or so we’ve been told. I love this word for its importance to fashion, and men in particular. The word first appeared in the 15th century, but we 21st century folks know it from its regular appearances in historical fiction and romance fiction. While Merriam-Webster points out it could be used as a negative or “snobby” connotation, it is most often read as a compliment for a lively romantic interest or an attractive hero. That’s pretty much how I came to know the word.

Growing up, my mother loved not only reading historical fiction, but also watching classic musicals and movies of her generation. Some Saturday afternoons, after chores and errands were done, we would rest on the couch and catch Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing across the screen together or Gene Kelly singing in the rain while dressed in a suit and tie. All of the actors, dancers and singers were the word dapper come to life. They were dressed impeccably, they were handsome and beautiful, and they were classy. I loved that special time with my mom, and to this day, I love watching musicals that I catch on TV and I pick out historical fiction for my reading list regularly.

I have an appreciation for a dapper man, sharply dressed and taking his girl out on the town. Maybe I was born in the wrong time, but we all would benefit from more dapper men in our lives because being a true gentleman never goes out of style.

“What profits now to understand the merits of a spotless shirt-a dapper boot-a little hand, if half the little soul is dirt?” Alfred Lord Tennyson