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Is bespoke associated with the American South, as "bonafied" (bona fide, properly) is to me? When I hear the latter, it brings to mind aristocratic Southern gentlemen sipping mint juleps; when I hear the former, it brings to mind some Negro sharecropper telling his son, "we're gonna get you your first bespoke suit..." I can't recall where these images come from, exactly....

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I've lived in California - Northern and Southern - all my life, and I've only met a few people who pronounce "bona fide", or "bona fides", correctly. "Bonnafied" is definitely not just a Southernism. Even (most of) the lawyers I know pronounce it as "bonnafied." Ick! –  MT_Head May 15 '11 at 17:20

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Bespoke is definitely a Briticism, though I wouldn't be surprised if it is popular in the South. I would think that Americans would sooner use tailor-made, however.

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I think we Brits are deserting bespoke in favour of tailor-made too. Certainly I never heard of bespoke cigarettes as distinct from hand-rolled ones. But the poor students of today, talking longingly of what they can't afford, will be the rulers of both society and language tomorrow. –  FumbleFingers Apr 19 '11 at 0:19
Tailor-made is certainly the standard term in most of the U.S. I don't know about the South, however. –  Peter Shor Apr 19 '11 at 0:35
Some British web-builders speak of "bespoke" websites, meaning requiring more than an out-of-the-box solution. –  James Apr 19 '11 at 1:29
I'm a Southerner, and I've never heard "bespoke" except as the past-tense of "bespeak," and even that's uncommon. Yay for learning a new word! –  kitukwfyer Apr 19 '11 at 13:50

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