Nehama (med_cat) wrote in 1word1day,
Nehama
med_cat
1word1day

Friday word: Savoir faire

Savoir faire

sa·voir faire
noun \ˌsav-ˌwär-ˈfer\ :capacity for appropriate action; especially : a polished sureness in social behavior

Example:

"At private interviews I'm posed,
The weary statesman in his chair,
Yet keep my mouth discreetly closed,
With diplomatic savoir faire!"

(from Count Danilo's aria "My very heavy Fatherland", in Lehar's operetta "The Merry Widow")

Videos of this aria can be seen below:


(with Jeffrey Black as Count Danilo)

And here's one with the incomparable Jeremy Brett (unfortunately, better quality's not available; and won't embed for some reason):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60YSxuoaWfQ


Etymology:

French savoir-faire, literally, knowing how to do

First Known Use: 1815
Tags: french, noun, s, wordsmith: med_cat
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