Usage poll "handsome" (of a man)

Do people in your country actually use the word "handsome" to describe attractive men?

  • No (I’m female)
  • Yes (I’m female)
  • No (I’m male)
  • Yes (I’m male)

0 voters

I don’t know about you non-American English speakers, but I do know that no American female under the age of 50 uses the word “handsome” to describe a good-rooking male. So, when I hear every Taiwanese girl and her momma and baby sister using this word to describe men, it makes me go hmmm…

While there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the word, it’s extremely old-fashioned. So why is it that “handsome” is the only word that people here know when it comes to describing an attractive man?

These are the words that my girlfriends use when they see a good-rooking man. Damn girl, he’s so:
…hot!
…fine!
…cute!
…extremely good-rooking!

We NEVER say “handsome”!

And in the same way, in Taiwan every attractive female is labeled “beautiful”. IMO, "beautiful is reserved for larger than life absolutely striking women like Cindy Crawford or Catherine Zeta Jones- not nice-looking, but normal, everyday people like sister Sue. Hearing “beautiful” egregiously overused is another EFL error that bugs me.

So, these words aren’t so bad if they are coming from beginner students, but I always try to clarify with intermediate-advanced students that Americans will say, “Takeshi Kaneshiro is HOT!”…not handsome. And, "Next-door Nancy is “cute”, or “pretty”…not beautiful.

This is what I tell my students, but maybe my thinking is too American-centric. What say you?

Right,my bf says I am pretty. :smiley:

I 'aint hot or extremely good-rooking and I sure as HELL 'aint cute. I’m handsome. Well, in the right light. From a distance.

You think you’re doing your students a favor by making them sound like vacuous gum-chewing American high school girls?

A female friend of mine that is often called ‘cute’ by strangers defined it this way: ugly but adorable.

So, who wants to be ‘cute’? :smiley:

Isn’t there a cultural norm at work here? From another thread (I forget which one) someone suggested that calling a baby cute suggested that it was not beautiful and therefore was an insult. Could the same thing be at work here?

I’m a man and I like being called handsome. Cute is for puppies.

Cute for sure. Handsome for an older man. So if I refer to you as handsome, perhaps you’d better start looking into retirement options…

Or “He looks good!”

Sometimes a simple “Yummy!” will suffice.

North of England usage is ‘fit’. Doesn’t mean ‘good at jogging’.

I thought that was “distinguished”. Though I’ve heard of older women being described as “handsome”!

Ha! That’s exactly what I thought. “omigod… like, he’s like such a hottie? like Oh. My. God.” :unamused:

Anyway, none of them are as bad as what they usually say about me: “Not bad… considering.”
Ladies, that just isn’t nice!

Demographics, age-wise. The gum chewing comment was spot-on.

Handsome is an excellent word to describe the facial features of a good-looking gentleman. Or a refined lady of…a certain age and demeanor.

There is a ‘Prime Blue’ whisky commercial which features a young man, with a bad haircut, leaping about in a tuxedo. My wife thinks he is…“handsome.” As an example.

Well, if you are old, then this topic doesn’t really apply to you. I’m 31 (hardly a schoolgirl) and I have never in my life used the word handsome to describe a man.

Moms is 52 and she doesn’t even use this word; although, I have heard her use a an equally outdated one…“hunk”.

Suaveman, you’s not handsome, you’s suave. :wink:

Shagariffic studmuffin.

See? SEE? She’s doing it again! Make her stop, somebody!

By the way, Dogvomit, Frank Zappa’s daughter was doing the Valley Girl thing, like, back in the late 70s. Those high school girls are all growed up now, with kids of their own. You’re showing yer age. :wink:
Probably still pretty vacuous though, but then, they’re Americans, so what d’you expect?

I know these, erm… ladies, that just give guys a number out of ten.

I guess you got about a 4 …“not without charm, but probably best suited to the knackers yard”

I guess you got about a 4 …“not without charm, but probably best suited to the knackers yard”[/quote]

Only cos they didn’t count my smell. If they’d counted YOUR smell, there’s no way you would’ve got moe than 3.9! No way JOSE!

God, how awful! Imagine if blokes were as crass as that?