0

When somebody says:

That girl is pulchritudinous.

Does it have a negative connotation?

According to Merriam-Webster "pulchritudinous sounds more disgusting than enchanting"

  • Does anyone actually use such a word? Do you have a notable usage for it? – user3169 Mar 16 '16 at 4:05
  • 2
    You will rarely if ever encounter this word and its use is best avoided. Subjectively I would agree that it is an ugly word that means "beautiful". – ghostarbeiter Mar 16 '16 at 4:18
2

There is no logical reason why Pulchritudinous should have a negative implication.

The original latin word is "pulchra"- an adjective, which then gets converted to "pulchritude" a noun and then "pulchritudinous" - an adjective. Repeatedly adding endings like this in order to go full circle- adjective-noun-adjective- probably seems unpleasant to an etymologist, just as a carpenter might find a piece of repeatedly-botched woodwork unpleasant.

The pu- sound to my mind is not very pleasant: I feel the same about the word pudding. In addition, the "lch" letter combination is quite difficult to say...

  • I agree that it shouldn't have a negative connotation, but just try saying to the next woman you see "My, you look particularly pulchritudinous this morning!" and you're likely to end up with a black eye. – John Clifford Mar 16 '16 at 7:58
  • @JohnClifford because it's vulgar? in fact, it means that somebody is physically beautiful, yes? – Student Mar 16 '16 at 8:20
  • 1
    @Student it does, but I don't think a huge number of people are aware of that. :) – John Clifford Mar 16 '16 at 8:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.