Bespoke is a word that sounds archaic and stands out like a daisy in a coal mine, in modern English. It is one of those words whose definition I don’t entirely trust. “A bespoke tailor” is often an example of the word usage in a phrase. Who the heck has a tailor? It must be a lonely word: I have no place for it in my vocabulary, and you probably don’t, either.
In tribute to a word old before its time, which is how I feel some mornings, here is a list of historical examples of bespoke, used where it fits in beautifully, which is in a long ago past (per Dictionary.com):
The man’s facetiousness interested me; it bespoke his nerve.
- On a Donkey’s Hurricane Deck, R. Pitcher Woodward
“Here it ends then,” said he, one day at the council-table, rising as bespoke.
- The Hour and the Man, Harriet Martineau
At noon to the ‘Change a little, and there bespoke some maps to hang in my new roome (my boy’s roome) which will be very-pretty.
- Diary of Samuel Pepys, Samuel Pepys
They flexed their compelling muscles before her and bespoke her for the dance.
- The Four Million, O. Henry