One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A woman whose face is attractive despite having ugly features.
- ‘She calls her Jolie, as in jolie laide, on account of Jolie's popularity with the men, even though she's got a big nose and a flat chest.’
- ‘Like her, the private clients who exemplified her ‘hard chic’ look were often jolies laides.’
- ‘More likely it was the jolie laide factor - the beautiful - ugly thing that made them so appealing to me.’
- ‘The jolie laide represents an idea of beauty wherein a hint of imperfection enhances a woman's appearance and makes her more interesting to look at.’
- ‘But though she may look the part of une jolie laide, rail-thin in all black and tortoiseshell shades, smoothing over her vowels as she drops French names, Feist is wary of ascribing too much Gallic flavour to Let it Die.’
French, from jolie ‘pretty’ and laide ‘ugly’, feminine adjectives.
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