The interior design is beautiful but a bit feminine


Polish (Poland)
Hello everyone!

I'm correcting a restaurant review and one word doesn't really sit well with me, but I want to make sure it's not just my personal preference, but a stylistic error, before I mark it as such. The student wrote:

"The interior design is beautiful but a bit feminine."

Personally, I would use the word "girly" instead of feminine here, because I think she meant it as a negative thing. This can, of course, open up a whole discussion on whether the word "girly" is disapproving and why and how we see young girls in our society, but given that I think my student wanted to criticize the restaurant, what would be the best word to use here?

Thank you for taking the time to read my question!

  • Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Hi Rudzielec, "feminine" sounds ok here. The negative nuance is implied by "beautiful but ...". "Girly" is ok too, of course, but of a more colloquial register.
    I would say they [sunglasses] would fit a woman better than a man as the design is a bit feminine including the tortoise motif. (amazon)


    Polish (Poland)
    Okay, thank you very much Enquiring Mind, sound shift and lingobingo! :) Nothing to be sorry about, I never claimed my English was perfect and correcting a perfectly appropriate word is precisely what I wanted to avoid. Thanks again! :)


    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I, too, would leave it as "feminine".

    The "but" in the sentence suggests to me that the student didn't see it as a positive description to use, but "girly" can and often does have distinctly derogatory connotations which I suspect she may not have intended.

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