One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural billets-douxdated, humorous
A love letter.‘she was a constant recipient of billets-doux from the boys of the neighbouring school’
- ‘If I haven't burnt this little billet-doux to light the gas ring for my morning sausages.’
- ‘So in the meantime I'll have to make do with this little billet-doux which has come fluttering through my letterbox…’
- ‘And better still, the back of the menu was a billet-doux to gastronomic accountability.’
- ‘And so he returns to the paparazzi and the predictable billets-doux slipped under the door by self-justifying journalists who have hypocrisy tattooed on their foreheads.’
- ‘So I thought it was time to share my riches; hence the following billet-doux on New Zealand skifields.’
- ‘As she seems easily fooled, why not send yourself sheaves of valentines and other billets-doux?’
- ‘In the last four years alone, no fewer than three auctions have featured billets-doux and other letters written by the Duke of Windsor when he held the titles Prince of Wales and King Edward VIII.’
- ‘Of course, as well as penning billets-doux to gifted actors, he can also be marvellously tactless about those who don't impress him.’
- ‘‘This service is very much loved by those engrossed in clandestine relationships of a carnal nature for passing surreptitious billets-doux,’ he said.’
- ‘Gone was the woozy romanticism I had wanted to read into his first billet-doux.’
- ‘A traffic ticket is not a billet-doux, nor is it a token of affection someone named ‘Don Juan’ delivers.’
- ‘From the sublime to the royal billet-doux, the same sale has a collection of 314 unpublished love letters comprising over 2,900 pages from the Prince of Wales (Edward VIII) to his mistress, Mrs Freda Dudley Ward.’
- ‘Contrary to what Bridget Jones's Diary suggests, e-mail has proved an equally unreliable medium for billets-doux.’
- ‘The rough trajectory of the plot begins with Kitty's discovery of a billet-doux, from her husband to Tula.’
- ‘Not only that, e-mail is also treacherous, offering the illusion of a confidential or subversive chat when every electronic billet-doux belongs to the employer and can be produced in an industrial tribunal.’
Late 17th century: French, literally ‘sweet note’.
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