grooming - a bit dated?

wanabee

Senior Member
Japanese
Dear all,

Before you go to school or work in the morning, you brush your teeth, do your makeup, fix your hair, and so on.
I think the term "grooming" refers to this kind of actions, and I'd like to know if the term is a bit dated or not.

I would appreciate any comments.
 
  • Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    I would never use the word 'grooming' for this. To me it conjures up a picture of my cat painstakingly licking itself.
     

    stormwreath

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'd say it's old-fashioned when used in that sense, yes. To me, the word 'grooming' can mean either:
    a) Something cats or apes do to each other.
    b) The process by which a paedophile gets close to his intended victim.

    Given meaning (b), I certainly wouldn't want to use the expression to describe a person's morning routine. I think we'd probably just say something like "getting ready" - "He was getting ready in the morning", "she was getting ready for work".
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    I'd say it's old-fashioned when used in that sense, yes. To me, the word 'grooming' can mean either:
    a) Something cats or apes do to each other.
    b) The process by which a paedophile gets close to his intended victim.

    Given meaning (b), I certainly wouldn't want to use the expression to describe a person's morning routine. I think we'd probably just say something like "getting ready" - "He was getting ready in the morning", "she was getting ready for work".
    I suppose "making his toilet" is right out, then....
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The first definition in the dictionary is the one you are asking about. I agree that that usage is not too common these days. I agree with the notion that "getting ready in the morning" would cover this activity and there may not be a single word to cover it. Bevj is reminded of the second meaning, and shies away from it as a result, but the paedophile meaning mentioned seems to be a particularly narrowly specialized form of meaning 3 below.
    • to make or keep (clothes, appearance, etc) clean and tidy
    • to rub down, clean, and smarten (a horse, dog, etc)
    • to train or prepare for a particular task, occupation, etc: to groom someone for the Presidency
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Whereas the above seems spot-on with respect to currency, "well-groomed" receives over 12 million hits on Google and I regard it as current.

    As a side note, I hope the "you" in the OP does not apply to me because I don't go to school or work anymore and I absolutely do not apply makeup. :D
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I'm more likely to use the term to describe somebody - who can be well groomed. Or perhaps ironically when someone is carefully arranging their hair or make-up (ah, he's grooming himself again!​)

    Cross-posted with sdgraham. On the same lines, I see.
     

    Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    I think the explanation is that you do not groom yourself (at least in modern usage).
    Somebody can have a well-groomed appearance.
    You can be groomed for a certain job or position.
    However it only seems to be cats and the like who groom themselves.
    This would account for the millions of hits on Google for 'well-groomed'.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I think it's possible to have a "daily grooming routine", but I wouldn't use it myself. It's the kind of thing you see in magazines, and can refer to the use of a multitude of beauty products in addition to the basics. In fact that's why I wouldn't use it; I stick to the basics.
     
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