Does "-esque" mean something? For example, grotesque, arabesque, burlesque, picaresque, and picturesque

  • It seems like all of them came to English through French. – Damkerng T. Dec 20 '13 at 17:48
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    This is two completely different questions. It would be better if you asked them separately. – Martha Dec 20 '13 at 18:10
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    Meaning of "-esque" is off-topic as dictionary-answerable. – Tyler James Young Dec 20 '13 at 18:37

No Both are different. -esque is a suffix used to form adjectives and it means "resembling" or "like" or "suggesting of"...

Lincoln + esque = Lincolnesque ... like Lincoln

Picture + esque = picturesque ... suitable for a picture

Burla + esque = Burlesque ... parodic, comic, like 'burla'


Burlesque came from an Italian word 'burla' that means jokes, mockery, parody etc. Burlesque is both adjective and noun. Some of these words may only be adjectives and some both.

  • So why does Kafkaesque retains the <a>? – Pacerier Jun 21 '17 at 0:37

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