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December 4, 2018 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Give in to the understated allure of genteel Twitter with the self-proclaimed 20-something seabird adrift on the tides of London, Bougie London Literary Woman. posted by roger ackroyd (23 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Followed and added Ottessa Moshfegh's book to my reading list. I suspect that I love this account because I dreamed of being this.
posted by gladly at 11:10 AM on December 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Women like this are an essential part of British society. When they turn forty they get drafted to run the Tate Gallery or the Wellcome Foundation or something.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:57 AM on December 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

"She was a girl with a wonderful profile, but steeped to the gills in serious purpose."
posted by betweenthebars at 12:15 PM on December 4, 2018

Note perfect and, as a result, a bit tough to take.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:16 PM on December 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

Perfect use of the word "especial".
posted by Rock Steady at 12:32 PM on December 4, 2018

Not sure if it was the same, but I think I used to date this woman.
posted by cliche_guevara at 1:25 PM on December 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Reading this set two thoughts clanging in my mental belfry: the propensity to eloquence is wasted on literary types; I am so ready to leave London.
posted by freya_lamb at 2:18 PM on December 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Love the idea, but the execution does not quite nail it for me: the contemporary version of this woman certainly exists but I don't think she uses 19th century terms like "shan't" or "I've."

My guess is that the account is by an American Anglophile. And there is at least one stray Americanism: "molding" for the UK "moulding."
posted by crazy with stars at 2:49 PM on December 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

this makes no sense and i cannot imagine someone like this existing in real life. you forget sometimes that England is a completely foreign country.
posted by vogon_poet at 3:26 PM on December 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

love “swimming wild”, a reminder that in the UK swimming in lakes, ponds and streams is seen as a very radical outdoor activity, like bouldering or something.
posted by vogon_poet at 3:28 PM on December 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

19th century terms like "shan't" or "I've

Shan’t and I’ve aren’t 19th century terms.... that particular “I’ve” construction is pretty posh (I’d use “I’ve got”) but “shan’t” is a completely normal word!

In the UK swimming in lakes... is seen as a very radical outdoor activity

And in the US, crossing the road wrong is an arrestable offence... Different countries, different cultures, different laws. Most lakes, ponds and streams belong to somebody over here (unlike Scotland we don’t have Right to Roam laws), so often wild swimmers are technically trespassing. The waterways are often pretty polluted, and as water temperatures are <10C for much of the year you also run a real risk of cold shock/hypothermia if you aren’t properly acclimatised. People die jumping into open water every year here (from cold shock, not drowning) so it isn’t something to be undertaken lightly.
posted by tinkletown at 10:58 PM on December 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

the contemporary version of this woman certainly exists

this IS the contemporary version of this woman, are you kidding? there are scores of them on this website alone. notice how I don't say "us," out of fond self-love

if you don't think it's almost too cruel and definitely too boringly true-to-life to stomach, you aren't necessarily her. but you might be

American Anglophile

posted by queenofbithynia at 12:11 AM on December 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

American Anglophile

I think so too, but only because of the account name. I've only ever come across "bougie" in American contexts. I'd expect UK English speakers to say "bourgeois". But maybe I'm just out of touch...
posted by ZipRibbons at 1:22 AM on December 5, 2018

This person is very real and contemporary, have already received a number of FYI THIS ISN'T ME texts

Question for the USia- the mefites from the USA - I feel like I read Sam Irby use "bougie" a lifetime ago and assumed it was a black american term (for want of a less awkward way to express that, yikes), and it suddenly seems to have exploded relatively recently in use by the General White Internet - can someone catch me up on its useage?
posted by ominous_paws at 1:37 AM on December 5, 2018

I know a woman whose for-serious, not-a-parody blog reads about 85% like this. As a data point, she's another American expat living in London.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:08 AM on December 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Christmas shopping thus far disheartening. Perhaps I am fated never to find the scented candle of my dreams: one perfumed with the solemn musk of a cathedral
The Comme des Garçons Avignon candles are my favorite!

Bougie London Literary Woman is the older, more well-read cousin of the Anthro Girl. I can think of one or two I know in person and more than a few who I follow on twitter.
Cometh the hour, cometh the jam. Have just had to turn down Radio 4 to better appreciate the murmur of my simmering quinces
I love this unreservedly and almost entirely unashamedly.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:52 AM on December 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

ominous_paws: Black American from the South here! Yes, I always knew it growing up as exclusively Black language and only heard White people starting to use it several years ago to much surprise. I can't seem to track the drift--despite asking folks if they know where they might have picked it up--but throw it on the pile with the rest of seemingly random pieces of Black language that pop up into the mainstream. Would *love* to know if other non-Black folks used it before the past 5ish years; certainly not complaining or anything, merely curious as for two and a half decades I never heard it come out of a White mouth and now, as you say, it seems suddenly ubiquitous. Maybe it was in a song/movie/meme or something?
posted by youarenothere at 6:53 AM on December 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Rappers from the South brought it into mainstream use. I started hearing it (a lot) from very young white girls when I took a job at a music startup in 2011.

I remember because it felt like they had all gotten really into Marx their senior year of college (which had ended like 6 months earlier), but it turns out they were picking it up from music.

I don’t remember the specific songs, unfortunately. Obviously now with Migos (Bad and Bougie) the word is everywhere.
posted by sideshow at 9:00 AM on December 5, 2018

Thanks, YouarenotThere. Sideshow, I feel it's come later than Migos, but maybe it just took a while to acquire critical mass.
posted by ominous_paws at 9:12 AM on December 5, 2018

I am a bougie London literary man (although I say "bushwah" or "bourgeois" because I'm not sure how to pronounce the "g" in "bougie"). Some of my best friends are bougie London literary women, and I don't think this account is 100% note perfect - the language is a bit too flowery, maybe to make it clear that it's a joke.
posted by Mocata at 9:54 AM on December 5, 2018

I mean, that's how parody works, right? Sorry, no idea at all why I've become so invested in this.
posted by ominous_paws at 10:05 AM on December 5, 2018

Yes. I just think the parody is slightly off-kilter. Something too emphatically twee and fulsome about it. But maybe I just don't know the right kind of BLLWs. It's still good work by whoever's doing it.
posted by Mocata at 10:12 AM on December 5, 2018

I heard it on freakin' Storage Wars the other day--can't get less hip than that. I agree that "bougie" hits the eye as an Americanism. Also, these kinds of people don't admit that they're bourgeois. They all think they're some kind of bohemian as they artfully display their consumption.

Could readily believe this is some American lit grad student starving on a badly-funded research trip to England (hence the BL references). When I was in a somewhat similar situation a number of years ago, I bought "classics for a pound" chosen by length, but we all must entertain ourselves somehow when we can't afford to go out.
posted by praemunire at 5:36 PM on December 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

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