Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What the Heck is a Cheeky Cognoscenti?

So, what's a Cheeky Cognoscenti, you may ask?

Dictionary.com defines a cognoscente as: "a person with superior, usually specialized knowledge or highly refined taste; a conoisseur" and "a person who has superior knowledge and understanding of a particular field, esp. in the fine arts, literature, and world of fashion." The word is derived from obsolete Italian, and pronounced "con-yuh-SHEN-tee" in its plural form (cognoscenti with an "i" at the end). My favorite definition of cheeky, on the other hand, comes from the web site The Very Best of British: The Americans' Guide to Speaking British: "Cheeky means you are flippant, have too much lip or are a bit of a smart arse! Generally you are considered to be a bit cheeky if you have an answer for everything and always have the last word." As you're probably starting to realize, I really like WORDS, particularly unusual, colorful, precise words with layers of meaning, words that are rich with imagery and flavor. Although I'm not arrogant enough to think I know all there is to know about everything I'm interested in, I do enjoy the arts and try to find out as much about my various interests as I can. I'm also a smartass. And I like the anachronism of mixing these two words together, with their wildly different connotations and origins. To me, a cheeky cognoscente is what you get when you mix Eliza Doolittle with Leonardo da Vinci -- you get someone I'd very much like to invite to dinner!


Anonymous said...

Rebecca my dear, YOU are someone I'd very much like to invite to dinner! :) Since I've had the pleasure of dining with you in Paris my meals just aren't the same without you :(

Sarah is coming to visit me next Wed! I'm soooo excited! We'll have a crepe for you.

Rebecca Grace said...

I'll be there in a heartbeat if you're making boeuf bourgignon... I hope you and Sarah have a blast.

Just wondering; do you think maybe crepes would ship well if you overnighted them??? ;-)

Anonymous said...

A most informative post, Rebecca! :) I love it...

Your McTavishing comment made me laugh -- look up http://www.designerquilts.com/ - you will be inspired!