What Am I? The Dandy Word-Association Poll


Halfway through dressing for last night’s New York book-signing party for Callahan & Adams’ “I Am Dandy,” it occurred to me that the evening would present a rare congregation of people with the word “dandy” on their minds.

So when I arrived to the sound of Dandy Wellington & His Band serenading the packed crowd, I took out my notebook and began chronicling guest responses to the following question:

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “dandy”?

The results were rather fascinating.

A few respondents immediately thought of individuals (none of them Brummell). Others thought of qualities they association with a dandy, making it clear that the legacy of “dandy,” in both word and concept, is that of the butterfly variety, clad in a kind of snazzy anachronism. Others still chose specific items of clothing they felt symbolically represented the word. Hardly anyone responded with a personality trait or an abstract concept, showing that in the minds of most “dandy” is something visible and sartorial.

Most of the responses are anonymous, though a few are credited to sitters in the book, many of whom were in attendance.

Finally, while I have not invented responses, I have taken the liberty of organizing them into small clusters for your entertainment. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

* * *

















“Hamish Bowles”





“Fine and dandy”

“Bow tie”




“Yankee Doodle”

“Spectator shoes”




“Lord Byron”




“Oscar Wilde”



“Light in the loafers”

“Quentin Crisp”




“Dr. Andre Churchwell”




“Tailoring bills” — Ed Hayes


“Patrick McDonald”

“Plaid suit”

“Furs and velvet”

“Others may think is weird”


“Waxed mustache”

“Vest and pocket watch”

“Retirement” — Lord Whimsy



“Where do I begin?”


“A million meanings”

“Style, and perhaps too much of it” — Robert Bryan


“I don’t wish to be quoted on Dandyism.net. Not a fan.”

“[inaudible]” — Mr. Burton

“Oh, man….” — Dandy Wellington

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4 Responses to “What Am I? The Dandy Word-Association Poll”

  1. Michael Mattis Says:

    That’s funny.

  2. leonard roger gresham jr Says:

    Greetings Gents! When I think of the word “dandy” I immediately associate it with flair in fashion, witty, unique view of the world and most certainly; well read! Old fashion but in the positive. A fondness for what’s old and a newness of mind in what is fashionable!

  3. JED Hunkin Says:

    It must have been a real woofters’ convention!

  4. Wardys Mejía Says:

    “I don’t wish to be quoted on Dandyism.net. Not a fan” Well… too late! Reading that phrase made my day!

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