February 6th, 2019

words

Wednesday Word: Parvenu

Parvenu - noun. Another word from my art history class - when you want to fancily and politely call someone a snob, try pahr-vuh-noo for a touch of elegance.

Back in the day, folks like William Morris tried to reclaim handmade techniques and manufacturing in the face of increasing industrialization. Unfortunately, the goods produced by Morris & Co could only be afforded by the wealthy. Writer Adolf Loos railed against the parvenu in one of his essays - those folks who had acquired some wealth or status in life, but didn't have the proper manners to fit their station. Basically, new money versus old money!