outlandish

Hese

Senior Member
German
Hello there,

could you please explain to me if the word "outlandish" is a common word and if it can be used to

A) describe somebody's behaviour (he behaves outlandishly/ in an outlandish way)

B) describe a personality ( Peter is a very outlandish person)

As far as I know, "outlandish" means something is unconventional, different from the norm.

I wonder whether the word is pejorative or whether it is neutral.

Thanks a lot in advance and have a good Sunday
 
  • envie de voyager

    Senior Member
    english-canadian
    Outlandish is a commonly used word, and you have used it correctly in your examples. It is one of those words which can be either a compliment or a slur, depending on context. For example:

    When she got on stage at the comedy festival, she was so outlandish. Everyone loved it. (Compliment)

    He always wears outlandish outfits to business meetings. I don't think his customers take him seriously. (Derogatory)
     

    Hese

    Senior Member
    German
    so can you use the word to describe a person?

    She is a very outlandish person

    Is that possible?
     

    envie de voyager

    Senior Member
    english-canadian
    When I hear someone use the word outlandish, I don't think "He sounds outdated", I think "He has an impressive vocabulary. What a great word!" When speaking with a child, I would use the word "silly" to make sure the child understood me. But with an adult, I wouldn't hesitate to use "outlandish".
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    It may be a difference in cultures (or simply a coincidence) but I'm with sdgraham on this for AE speakers. "Outlandish" is a little dated in AE ("U.S. speak"). "Outrageous" is probably more current in AE to express this idea, even though it doesn't really have the same meaning as outlandish.

    If I heard outlandish I would certainly understand the word and appreciate its precision but I wouldn't expect to hear it from anyone younger than myself.

    For example, I wouldn't expect to hear a red carpet announcer say, "Here's Lady Gaga, in yet another outlandish outfit", even though it would be perfectly accurate. :)
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    I wouldn't use it myself to describe a person themselves ("an outlandish person"), but rather their appearance, behaviour or other attributes. I think the same goes for objects, actually, although I might say that someone or something was "outlandish looking". I wouldn't consider it old-fashioned at all; it's not very often heard, I don't think, but it's hardly obscure.
     
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