Glamour Grammar

Did you know that the word “glamour” actually stems from an old Scottish word for magic or enchantment? Glamour is also a descendent of the word “grammar” which actually meant something slightly different than what we think of today in English class.

Here is a fascinating explanation from the Merriam-Webster website:

In the Middle Ages the meaning of grammar was not restricted to the study of language, but included learning in general. Since almost all learning was couched in language not spoken or understood by the unschooled populace, it was commonly believed that such subjects as magic and astrology were included in this broad sense of grammar. Scholars were often viewed with awe and more than a little suspicion by ordinary people. This connection between grammar and magic was evident in a number of languages, and in Scotland by the 18th century a form of grammar, altered to glamer or glamour, meant “a magic spell or enchantment.” As glamour passed into more extended English usage, it came to mean “an elusive, mysteriously exciting attractiveness.”

This is so thrilling! It’s easy to see how people whom we’d define as “glamorous” cast a certain spell over the beholder. Immediately, I think of Grace Kelly, Rita Hayworth, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe. Those classic gems. They are intoxicating, and they just ooze a magical mystery about them that stems from their beauty, confidence, and easy grace. Glamour doesn’t really have anything to do with the way you’re dressed or the money you spend. I think that true glamour comes from the way you carry yourself, the way you give people your attention, the energy that you bring to any room you’re in. This is the spell you cast. And it’s wonderfully bewitching.

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