A Man of “Mense”: TAE Word for the Day


Mense (pronounced “mens”): (noun) propriety, decorum, manliness, dignity, comeliness, civility (transitive verb) to grace; adorn.  NOT to be confused with “menses.” Totally different meaning . . .

(Propriety is the quality or state of being proper or suitable; decorum refers to appropriateness of behavior, conduct. The plural form decorums refers to the conventions of polite behavior.) 

Mense comes from the Middle English menske (honor), derived from the Old Norse mennska, (humanity), related to Old English (man).

I think we would all agree that Richard Armitage is a well-brought-up gentleman. His parents, teachers and other mentors taught him about good manners, suitable behavior and the importance of civility, and it seems to have stuck.

There are no stories of Mr. A throwing cell phones at beleaguered hotel staff members,  engaging in fisticuffs outside nightclubs, acting like a divo on set or staggering drunkenly around an English neighborhood in the wee hours shouting at the top of his lungs, “I’m Guy of Gisborne. Let me in!”

He is a man who exhibits mense. Polite, soft-spoken, thoughtful, never one to push himself forward, good-humored but never mean-spirited–Richard is an example of manliness in its most beautiful form.

14 responses »

  1. looks like it’s related to the Yiddish “mensch,” person, good person. But I blinked twice, also thinking, what is she writing about “menses”??? 🙂

    • I was thinking as I read, “Yes, what a mensch!” and thinking it must be the same root. I thought I had a decent vocabulary in English, but I don’t recall ever reading or hearing “mense” in this context before. Proof that in Armitageworld you really do learn something every day.

  2. *ahem* lol…menses…moving right along: This quality is definitely huge part of his charm! He is living proof that celebrities don’t have to be #$%&s – they choose to be. Keep rockin’ the *mense* Mr. A!

  3. I also immediately thought “mensch” since it suits him. I actually think Mense might suit him a bit too well. I found a site with a ton of RA quotes on it and it would appear that he might be a bit of a control freak as far as how he conducts himself at any rate. He’s said that he loves “being out of control” when he’s acting and the role has taken over. It’s a rush he’s found “addictive.” He also loves the freedom of skiing. I imagine on the slopes he can leave the British gentleman behind and be a free spirit in tune with the mountain. While I don’t think he’d ever want to throw a phone or be rude I get the impression that giving himself permission to do something very spur-of-the-moment and wild is something he’d love to do and so is sublimated in his acting. So inside this proper British gentleman is a guy who loves to lay around on the weekend, not bathe or shave and just chill. Sounds good to me.

  4. Richard.Take.that.damn.coat.OFF!!!! Now!!! Yes, he truly is a mensch. I’ve never really thought that he might be a bit of a control freak in RL. Disciplined, yes, but not overly so. Ah well. We can’t know him really, can we?

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