My Least Favourite Word-BESPOKE

OK  So  first, the true meaning of the word!

Bespoke ‘English pronunciation: /biˈspoʊk/ is an English term employed in a variety of applications to mean an item custom-made to the buyer’s specification’. the term historically was applied only to tailored clothing and shirts and other parts of men’s apparel involving measurement and fitting  More generally, bespoke describes a high degree of customisation, and involvement of the end-user, in the production of the good. Now I see nothing there about

1. Icing your name on something.2. Deciding how many you want in a box  3. Mixing a bit of this and a bit of that together and putting a ribbon on it.

Every second shop I pass has BESPOKE tattooed on it’s window. Every thing from flowers to motorbikes to a sandwich shops…does that mean when you go in and ask for a sandwich and they add the filling of your choice, it is a  bespoke sandwich? well obviously it is! really! talk about using a word so much it means nothing anymore…and do you remember anyone using the word at all, more than 5 years ago..NO-ONE appart from really old tailors…Now any business who makes anything where the customer utters something in their direction, ‘ I’ll have some roses and carnations please’, ‘can it say “happy birthday dummy on it” hey presto!!!! it becomes a bespoke flower arranger or bespoke baker….yaaaaawn yawwwwnnnn .just  SOOOOO unimaginative. Just try googling bespoke before any word- chocolate, signs, cakes. I mean how much customising can you do to a chocolate. I did random googling…and yes you can get bespoke gin!! ha ha ha ha.

IT HAS NOW LOST ANY MEANING AS IT HAS BEEN USED SO MUCH that people do not know what it means anymore. People make ‘bespoke trainers’, which are actually not bespoke at all as they are ‘on line’ and as far as I know they are finished and designed and ready to order and  I don’t remember asking for that particular pattern or colour…. Lazy lazy lazy……

I wrote a musical for 10 year old kids   last year and the head -teacher called it a ‘bespoke musical’ ….I mean…we wrote it for them …but i just felt there were so many other magical words that could have been used instead…I  will not go into a shop, or buy from anyone who is offering me ‘bespoke’ windows, plant pots, food ( possibly will allow shoes as long as I really do get to chose everything about them -purple patent gortex please!) If they use the  word ‘bespoke’ as a description for their services – I just assume they are a bit pretentious and a bit unimaginative…unless of course it is an old tailor and I want to get a suit made.

There that told you! Bet you wish you never asked. Have a great day.


Steely Dan were the bread and butter of my musical education and the default on my ipod…I have Don Kentish to thank for my long term love affair with Steely Dan…This track will always remind me of my mate Steve Carter. Deacon Blues.


  1. Thanks, Gitika! Loved your word, your reasoning, and your song of the day. Steely Dan has some wonderful recordings.

    And thanks for swinging by SLTW!

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