Online Dictionary

demi-monde Explained

demi-monde at English => English (English Etymology) Of Explained:

1855, from Fr. demi-monde "so-so society," lit. "half-world," from demi- "half" + monde, from L. mundus "world." Popularized by use in title of a comedy by Alexandre Dumas fils. Dumas' Demi-Monde "is the link between good and bad society ... the world of compromised women, a social limbo, the inmates of which ... are perpetually struggling to emerge into the paradise of honest and respectable ladies" [Fraser's Magazine, 1855]. Not properly used of courtesans. 18c. Eng. demi-rep (1749, the second element short for reputation) was defined as "a woman that intrigues with every man she likes, under the name and appearance of virtue ... in short, whom every body knows to be what no body calls her" [Fielding]. ///