Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday January 24, 2001
bon ton \bahn-TAHN\ , noun:
1. Fashionable or elegant manner or style.
2. The proper or fashionable thing to do.
3. Fashionable society; a fashionable social set.
Here, braving the bon ton of New York in the early 1900s, he seemed uncomfortable throughout, as if he had been invited to an Edith Wharton party for which he was not suitably dressed.
-- Stanley Kauffmann, "Women in Danger", New Republic, January 15, 2001
Though he was a college junior, his father, Bruno, was an owner of . . . a restaurant in Manhattan popular with the bon ton, so he knows what he was talking about.
-- Anthony Haden-Guest, The Last Party
The bon ton here is to be grave and learned.
-- Horace Walpole
Bon ton is from the French bon (from Latin bonus), good + ton (from Latin tonus), tone.