shabby-genteel love

Definitions

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Retaining in present shabbiness traces of former gentility; aping gentility, but really shabby.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. trying to maintain dignity and self respect despite shabbiness

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Even more of Dickens's characters are what became known as "shabby-genteel": people who are keeping up appearances despite precarious finances, as the Dickens family once was.

    Our Dickens

  • Her own shabby-genteel clothing fit in perfectly here, giving her no cause for embarrassment.

    red dust

  • It was a poky, little, shabby-genteel place, where four lines of dingy two-storied brick houses looked out into a small railed-in enclo - sure, where a lawn of weedy grass and a few clumps of faded laurel-bushes made a hard fight against a smoke-laden and uncongenial atmosphere.

    Sole Music

  • But in the original double album, and in the Who's live performances of the work, they created a musical earthquake that opened cracks in the complacency of a shabby-genteel culture.

    From The Who To The Whom

  • I turn now to that commentary: a series of moments when the encounter of well-heeled bibliomaniac and shabby-genteel minor Romantic seems to make them each other's mirror images, united by a common unwillingness to conceive of books as something we might assimilate as pure mental phenomena, and a readiness to allow literariness to be effaced by the volumes that lodge it.

    "Wedded to Books': Bibliomania and the Romantic Essayists

  • He was an eccentric mixture, a novelist of talent but a pamphleteer of genius, an aesthete whose trademark was gritty realism, a radical socialist with a conservative nostalgia for the shabby-genteel England of his Edwardian childhood.

    The saint of common decency

  • On the other hand the children of shabby-genteel families could not be blamed if they grew up with a hatred of the working class, typified for them by prowling gangs of

    The Road to Wigan Pier

  • In the kind of shabby-genteel family that I am talking about there is far more consciousness of poverty than in any working-class family above the level of the dole.

    The Road to Wigan Pier

  • The Faubourg Saint-Germain may have its barriers also, but these are less ‘telling’ to the eyes and imagination of the ‘shabby-genteel.’

    Within a Budding Grove

  • The newcomer was a man short and powerfully built, dressed in a shabby-genteel sort of way, with a massive head covered with black hair, heavy side whiskers and moustache, and a clean shaved chin, which had that blue appearance common to very dark men who shave.

    Madame Midas

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.