Bespoke

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For other uses, see Bespoke (disambiguation).

Bespoke is an adjective for anything commissioned to a particular specification. It may be altered or tailored to the customs, tastes or usage of an individual purchaser. Synonyms are "custom-made", "made to order", and "made to measure". Antonyms are "off-the-shelf" and "ready-to-wear". Modding is a slang term that is different but somewhat related. It refers to personalization of an item after manufacture.

The word bespoke is derived from the verb to bespeak, meaning to "speak for something". The particular meaning of the verb form given in the OED, "to speak for, to arrange for, engage beforehand: to ‘order’ (goods)”, is first cited from 1583. The adjective, "bespoken", meaning “ordered, commisioned, arranged for” is first quoted from 1607.[1] The term is generally more prevalent in British English, for example, bespoke jewellery (e.g. StyleRocks);[2] American English tends to use the word "custom" instead, as in custom car, custom motorcycle etc. Nevertheless, "bespoke" has seen increased usage in American English during the 21st century,[3] particularly in the phrase "bespoke suit."[4]

Specific uses include:

  • Bespoke medicine, a movement to better fit treatment to the individual patient
  • Bespoke software, software written to the specific requirement of a customer
  • Bespoke tailoring, men's clothing made to the individual measurements of the customer
  • Bespoke shoes, shoes that are made to fit the customer's specifications

References[edit]

  1. ^ ”Bespeak” and “Bespoken”. The Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 1st ed. 1909.
  2. ^ Joye, Paula (22 June 2012). "Bespoke is the new black". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Google Ngrams search, 'bespoke' in American English". 
  4. ^ "Google Ngrams search, 'bespoke suit' in American English".