In Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Steve speaks to Susan on phone:

Susan: Where are you?

Steve: We're on our way to the Elysian to dicker with Van Cleve.

Why is first letter capatalize in the word "Elysian"?

  • I'm more curious about the verb "to dicker". Not heard that one. Must be American English.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 19 at 7:39
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA - reasonably common up to about 1960-1970 in novels & films. As you say, mainly American. Jan 19 at 8:50

2 Answers 2


Without knowing the book or the context of the quote, we can still conclude that the characters are talking about a specific place (club? cafe?) named “Elysian” or a specific person with a nickname.

As names and proper nouns are capitalized in English, so is this.

  • And, whatever it is, it is named with reference to the Elysian Fields (the abode of dead heroes in Greek mythology, a beautiful, peaceful place). Jan 19 at 9:49

I would need more context to understand what they are talking about.

In English, the names of places, persons, nationalities, languages, etc. are capitalized because they are proper nouns.

Elysian refers to a place and hence is also capitalized. Absent any context, in your example this could be paradise, a Parisian avenue, a pub, etc.

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