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". Mar 16 '16 at 4:18

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. 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. :) Mar 16 '16 at 8:22

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