One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A woman whose face is attractive despite having ugly features.
- ‘Like her, the private clients who exemplified her ‘hard chic’ look were often jolies laides.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
French, from jolie ‘pretty’ and laide ‘ugly’, feminine adjectives.
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