I am looking for a word or phrase which can describe the situation in which you order a valuable thing (maybe unique) such as a Ferrari or jet or something else. My friend told me that it should be called a custom car (or jet). I agree about that but I know there is another word which sounds much stronger than custom...

Does anyone have any ideas?

  • You should probably first fix your confusion between world and word :) Your question is also unclear. Are you looking for a word which indicates that you agree strongly with your friend or do you want to know a better way of saying custom car or custom jet? Jul 20, 2012 at 19:06
  • 1
    Are you trying to find a better word than "valuable" or a better word than "unique"? You said it "may be" unique. If it is not necessarily unique (or at least modified in some way from the standard item), then custom is not a good word. Are you looking for a word like "luxury" (as adjective) or "luxurious"? Jul 20, 2012 at 19:20

7 Answers 7


"Tailored" would be a suitable work for many contexts.
(though, note the differences)

Admittedly, this word derives from a context of people that make clothing and related garments. However, in that note, 'bespoke' also has that same historical context.

Other contextual forms:

  • designed (artistic or attractive)
  • contrived (underhandled, forged, or deceitful)
  • devise (more inventive)
  • concoct (related to chemistry, cooking, and mixing)
  • fabricate (engineered or manufactured, generally from stock materials)

If you are looking for colloquial constructions, consider

  • rigged
  • tailored implies altering of an item. One would probably say "Tailor maid" to mean built from scratch to specifications. Jul 20, 2012 at 23:18
  • That was made, though a tailor-maid sounds more interesting than appropriate, ha.
    – Kris
    Jul 21, 2012 at 10:50
  • 'Tailored' jet is news to me, honest!
    – Kris
    Jul 21, 2012 at 10:50

In the UK, they often say "bespoke." It is not a very common word in America, but it might be the word you are looking for.

"Custom-made" and "made-to-order" are both a little bit stronger, and "tailored" is stronger still, but it would be unusual to call a car or a jet "tailored."

  • 1
    Yes. Also, something bespoke is made just for you and is 'unique' in the sense there isn't another one exactly like it. But more rarely applied to things other than clothes (we often speak of 'bespoke tailoring' for example, or a 'bespoke suit'). I have it used increasingly in my work as a software engineer but the OED does not regard its use with other man-made objects incorrect. Http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/bespoke
    – 5arx
    Jul 20, 2012 at 20:05

I think OP misunderstands the existing distinction normally made between...

customised - 'stock' item modified/personalised to suit the customer.

custom-made - 'one-off' item designed and produced for the customer.

Note that although custom-made can apply to anything that can be "designed" and "produced", it's often replaced by custom-built in the case of products with a primarily "mechanical" purpose (cycles, cars, yachts, beds, chairs, etc.).

Also, simple custom is often used with less "physical" things (diet, menu, toolbar, etc.)

I suspect that OP may have been misled by marketing men (and boastful owners), who blur the above distinction by referring to their merely customised stock products as custom-made because that's already the "stronger" form, and they hope to gain "kudos by association".


Commissioned can mean that the item was specifically built to a buyers specifications.


Actually for what you describe, custom is already too strong. No matter how expensive a Ferrari is, it is not a custom car, I can understand the confusion because you do get to customize it with some standard options such as exterior color and interior fabric - but that is true for any car. A custom car is built or modified by the original manufacturer or a third party for the specifications of the individual customer. The modifications must be extensive and not simply standard options on a production line. A bullet-proof car is a custom-car. A saleen mustang where the entire guts have been modified is a custom car. By the same token a jet may have a custom interior but that does not make it a custom jet - believe me you want the same aerodynamic properties as all the other jets coming off the production line.

There is a typical adjective for car and jet that while over used convey the exact meaning you are looking for - super car and private jet.


When discussing things that are commonly production-line created, hand-crafted may convey highly valued quality and care

  • 1
    hand-crafted does not necessarily mean custom made, it just means it was not mass produced, and implies high craftsmanship. Jul 20, 2012 at 23:16
  • Quite true, but hand crafting of a typically mass produced item often conveys a uniqueness. Perhaps a reference to one-of-a-kind would work.
    – bib
    Jul 21, 2012 at 0:11
  • Yes, but still not 'designed to the customized specification'.. Jul 21, 2012 at 18:33

"By your command," if you want to take a cue from the Cylons. Or "As you wish," if you prefer The Princess Bride.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.