Artist vs Artiste

Glikeria   Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:33 am GMT
Please
Is it correct to say "artiste" about male performers, too?
Elvis was a superb artiste. ???
Glikeria   Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:10 pm GMT
Does it mean nobody knows??
Liz   Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:28 pm GMT
I may not be right but, as far as I know, "artiste" is used for characterising only performing artists (dancers, singers etc.) and not sculptors, painters, graphic artists etc., whereas "artist" is a person who engages in any kind of art(istic activity).

Besides, I don't think it has got much to do with sex (at least in the English language).

So, you can say "Elvis was a superb artiste".

By the way, where are you from, Glikeria? You have quite an interesting name. What kind of name is it (maybe a flower)?
Uriel   Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:59 pm GMT
"Artiste" is sort of a pretentious word that no one takes seriously, you know. But in English, no distinction is made between sexes with it.
Liz   Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:23 pm GMT
<<"Artiste" is sort of a pretentious word that no one takes seriously, you know. But in English, no distinction is made between sexes with it.>>

Completely agreed!
Liz   Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:26 pm GMT
I've forgotten this:

<<"Artiste" is sort of a pretentious word that no one takes seriously>>

Agreed, but some snobbish people do :-)
Liz   Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:30 pm GMT
And some companies or studios use as a name.
Glikeria   Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:49 pm GMT
Tnx, Liz and Uriel. At long last I got the answer, that's a relief. Not that it were so important, but one can't help feeling somewhat hurt when everybody passes by.
Liz, it's my nick. I feel safer in disguise. In fact it's my late Granny's name, a rare one. When she was born names were offered in church according to the date. I guess there must be some saint Glikeria.
Liz, your explanation coincides with my opinion, but a friend of mine read somewhere "artiste" is only abt women, so I wanted to make sure.

Uriel, why do you say it's pretentious? And what do you call singers, dancers etc. - performers?
mjd   Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:37 pm GMT
Glikeria,

You can certainly use the word, as it does mean just that -- public entertainers like singers, dancers, etc.

However, as Uriel said, they too are often just referred to as "artists." "Artiste" is often used sarcastically or mockingly in the phrase "I'm an artiste"....hence why some don't take it seriously.
Deborah   Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:08 am GMT
It's pretentious *in English* because there's no reason to use the French word.
Glikeria   Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:30 am GMT
That's interesting - just one letter and the change of stress are so meaningful. Thanks to everybody. Connotations are the most fascinating part of a language to me.
fab   Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:38 pm GMT
"artiste" is the french for "artist"
Uriel   Fri Jul 14, 2006 9:39 am GMT
Which is one reason why "artiste" is pretentious. Nothing against the French language itself, but when French words are borrowed into English, it's often to intentionally tart up an existing English word (artist > artiste). There is nothing wrong with the word itself, just the pretentiousness of the PEOPLE who self-consciously choose to use it to set themselves apart as "better" than mere "artists". So it's the way it's used, the context of the borrowing, and the motivations behind that borrowing that make that particular word annoying.*

*Note that this does not apply as a blanket statement to the hundreds or thousands of OTHER French words that have been borrowed into English which are considered completely mundane -- "artiste" is a special case. There are a handful of others like it.
Pete   Sun Jul 16, 2006 5:01 am GMT
<<I've forgotten this:

<<"Artiste" is sort of a pretentious word that no one takes seriously>>

Agreed, but some snobbish people do :-)>>

Interesting, I didn't even know there was such word. LOL. I guess it happens everywhere in the world. People borrowing French words into their language to sound more sophisticated or something...
greg   Sun Jul 16, 2006 5:54 am GMT
Uriel : « (...) when French words are borrowed into English, it's often to intentionally tart up an existing English word (artist > artiste). »

Ha ha !!! Le plus drôle c'est que An <artist> & An <artiste> ont ***TOUS LES DEUX*** été empruntés au français : aucun des deux mots n'est de facture anglaise —> seule l'imitation du français les a fait entrer dans l'usage anglais, à des époques différentes il est vrai.