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Author Topic: Does pretty mean something different?  (Read 2075 times)

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Harriet Jones

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Re: Does pretty mean something different?
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2014, 01:18:34 PM »
To me, a pretty man would be attractive, but not "rugged".  So he probably would be younger and smoother.

Barney girl

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Re: Does pretty mean something different?
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2014, 03:43:15 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. I think, assuming they all came from North America, this means "pretty" does have a slightly  different meaning for you as I really can't imagine calling a man pretty without the risk of his taking offence.

Yvaine

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Re: Does pretty mean something different?
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2014, 03:47:09 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. I think, assuming they all came from North America, this means "pretty" does have a slightly  different meaning for you as I really can't imagine calling a man pretty without the risk of his taking offence.

In my experience, it's not normally a thing you call the guy to his face. It's more a trait of how women talk to each other. I'm not sure exactly how that developed, but it's what I've observed.

Kiwipinball

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Re: Does pretty mean something different?
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2014, 06:20:03 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. I think, assuming they all came from North America, this means "pretty" does have a slightly  different meaning for you as I really can't imagine calling a man pretty without the risk of his taking offence.

In my experience, it's not normally a thing you call the guy to his face. It's more a trait of how women talk to each other. I'm not sure exactly how that developed, but it's what I've observed.

Yeah, I probably wouldn't call a guy that to his face (although I hope most of the men I know wouldn't overly mind).  But I wouldn't mean it in a derogatory way, if that makes sense.  So maybe I shouldn't use it, but I don't mean it in a bad way and I just don't know how any particular guy would take it.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: Does pretty mean something different?
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2014, 08:21:33 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. I think, assuming they all came from North America, this means "pretty" does have a slightly  different meaning for you as I really can't imagine calling a man pretty without the risk of his taking offence.

In my experience, it's not normally a thing you call the guy to his face. It's more a trait of how women talk to each other. I'm not sure exactly how that developed, but it's what I've observed.

Yeah, I probably wouldn't call a guy that to his face (although I hope most of the men I know wouldn't overly mind).  But I wouldn't mean it in a derogatory way, if that makes sense.  So maybe I shouldn't use it, but I don't mean it in a bad way and I just don't know how any particular guy would take it.

I wouldn't call a guy "pretty" to his face, unless I was confident that he wouldn't be offended. I do know a good number of guys who I wouldn't expect to be offended by being called "pretty." I don't think a guy's "prettiness" is derogatory or related to being effeminate.

That said, I generally don't call men "handsome" to their faces, either. I might make a comment like "You look nice/spiffy/snazzy today" when they're dressed up, comment on something they're wearing, or compliment a hairstyle, but I wouldn't be making general comments on their looks. If I did call a guy handsome or pretty to his face, it would probably be in a joking manner. E.g., "What's with the suit? Making yourself pretty for the job fair?" And that would be a know-your-audience thing--I can't think of anyone I'd make that joke to who would be offended by my using "pretty" instead of "handsome."

As Yvaine said, I'm most likely to describe a man as "pretty" when talking to another woman. This also tends to have a silly/jokey element for me. It's usually in the context of gushing over an attractive actor/character, e.g., "You're going to love this episode. It's full of pretty men.", "What was that? I was distracted by how pretty he is.", or (from my friend about John Barrowman) "He's so pretty, it's not even fair!". Less jokey descriptions tend to involve use "good-looking," "attractive," or "gorgeous." I don't personally use "handsome" very much, except in two contexts: (1) as shorthand for someone who meets our cultural standards of good looks but I don't personally find attractive (e.g., "[Actor]'s handsome I guess, but I don't see what all the fuss is about.") or (2) men with great gravitas, so that more casual terms don't seem to fit (E.g., Thorin Oakenshield is a very handsome man dwarf; Fili and Kili are pretty  ;D).

WolfWay

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Re: Does pretty mean something different?
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2014, 12:03:46 AM »

As Yvaine said, I'm most likely to describe a man as "pretty" when talking to another woman. This also tends to have a silly/jokey element for me. It's usually in the context of gushing over an attractive actor/character, e.g., "You're going to love this episode. It's full of pretty men.", "What was that? I was distracted by how pretty he is.", or (from my friend about John Barrowman) "He's so pretty, it's not even fair!". Less jokey descriptions tend to involve use "good-looking," "attractive," or "gorgeous." I don't personally use "handsome" very much, except in two contexts: (1) as shorthand for someone who meets our cultural standards of good looks but I don't personally find attractive (e.g., "[Actor]'s handsome I guess, but I don't see what all the fuss is about.") or (2) men with great gravitas, so that more casual terms don't seem to fit (E.g., Thorin Oakenshield is a very handsome man dwarf; Fili and Kili are pretty  ;D).
Exactly how me and my friends use it, girl to girl (or girl to gay guy) talking about an actor/celebrity in a jokey way.
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iridaceae

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Re: Does pretty mean something different?
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2014, 03:27:19 AM »
Pretty for me when it comes to men has no effeminate connotations: Jensen Ackles,  especially 8 years ago, is pretty. Therefore so is his character Dean Winchester. You can't call Dean effeminate by any stretch of the imagination.
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WolfWay

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Re: Does pretty mean something different?
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2014, 04:31:34 AM »
Pretty for me when it comes to men has no effeminate connotations: Jensen Ackles,  especially 8 years ago, is pretty. Therefore so is his character Dean Winchester. You can't call Dean effeminate by any stretch of the imagination.
Hear hear!  ;D
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Anniissa

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Re: Does pretty mean something different?
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2014, 10:12:25 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. I think, assuming they all came from North America, this means "pretty" does have a slightly  different meaning for you as I really can't imagine calling a man pretty without the risk of his taking offence.

I'm from the UK and, whilst I wouldn't call a man pretty to his face unless I was very sure he wouldn't be offended or I was being jokey, I would use the term in much the same way other posters here have. I would describe a man as pretty not meaning effeminate but if he was boyish looking or had smooth skin or maybe a feature that is "pretty" like long eyelashes. So, I would mean it as attractive in a boyish way but not necessarily effeminate - I'd agree that Jensen Ackles is someone I might describe as pretty or Ian Somerhalder or a young Jude Law, or Chace Crawford.

baglady

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Re: Does pretty mean something different?
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2014, 07:38:39 PM »
Jesse Spencer is the guy I picture when I think of a "pretty" man. On "House" his character, Dr. Chase, came in for his share of ribbing from House because of his boyish good looks. When he and Dr. Cameron were engaged, House once referred to Cameron (no slouch herself in the looks department) as the "soon-to-be second-prettiest Dr. Chase."

Pretty guys are the ones my preteen/teenage self used to call "cute" -- smooth skin, full lips, longish hair. Think Davy Jones and David Cassidy if you're as old as I am, Leif Garrett and Scott Baio if you're a bit younger, (insert boy band hunk du jour here) if you're a lot younger. Boyish, but not effeminate -- the E word is really more about behavior than looks anyway.

I've never actually heard "pretty" applied to men in a perfectly straight, totally-synonymous-with-handsome sense. It's usually in either a joking/affectionate ribbing context (like the "House" example above) or an insulting one (a man calling another man "pretty boy").

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CakeEater

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Re: Does pretty mean something different?
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2014, 08:01:40 PM »

I've never actually heard "pretty" applied to men in a perfectly straight, totally-synonymous-with-handsome sense. It's usually in either a joking/affectionate ribbing context (like the "House" example above) or an insulting one (a man calling another man "pretty boy").

This is how I'd describe it.