One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
adjectiveNorthern English, Scottish
In keeping with good taste and propriety; polite and restrained.‘she seems a menseful lass’
- ‘Just be menseful and stay by the door, and do as I bid thee.’
- ‘Jane has done her best to make the place menseful.’
- ‘When you live in one big room and are as menseful as we two, you must have a place to put all of the things one accumulates.’
- ‘We may note the menseful way in which Beowulf acts as regent for the deceased king's young sons.’
- ‘"Ay," says he, "she looks menseful."’
Late 16th century: from mense ‘propriety, decorum’ + -ful.
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