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Word du Jour: Famesque

To be famesque, a celebrity's fame must be disproportionate to the success he or she has in the field he or she is purportedly famous for — say acting, singing, or professional sports. A famesque person loses at the box office, but wins in the tabloids at the supermarket check-out line. Most importantly, perhaps, a famesque person never had real fame. In other words, they're not has-beens, they're never-weres.

Amy Argetsinger, who coined the term in a Washington Post article published yesterday, cites a few examples, including Sienna Miller and Zsa Zsa Gabor. Anna Kournikova seems like another natural addition to the group, and I suppose Paris Hilton doesn't make the cut because she doesn't have an actual day job besides being Paris Hilton. A famesque person must have something she's supposedly famous for, besides being famous. Argetsinger writes:

The truly famesque possess the seeming gravitas that comes with a title and the suggestion of a job — actor, singer, pro athlete. It's just that . . . you've never seen them act, or heard them sing, or watched them play. Instead: You read about them. A lot.

Who's your favorite famesque person?

Image Source: WireImage
Join The Conversation
sham28 sham28 7 years
Nicole is famous for being a bad girl and getting in trouble, which LED to "the simple life," and then she 'wrote' a book, but really it was heroin --> DUI --> anorexia --> assorted dudes --> being more normal --> babies.
janneth janneth 7 years
Paris Hilton is quasi-famesque. That's really bad!
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 7 years
I do agree with you mamasita, but I think of her as an incredibly talented musician with a serious addiction and mental problems. I don't think she's exploiting her own heroin addiction for future movie roles. Or maybe she is...though I'd like to think not
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
I think Amy Winehouse is a BRILLIANT musician, but more people know her now for her train-wreck-edness than her art, so I'd say her
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 7 years
I agree with anon #3 re Paris. All the stuff she does, is because of her fame, she didn't get famous from singing. just like Kim Kardashian...she's famous for having a sex tape Tinsley Mortimer strikes me as famesque, even though she's not terribly mainstream unless you follow Patrick McMullen and the Sartorialist. All she did was show up for some charity events in nice clothes, and she's on Gossip Girl, some shows on Bravo and a line of hand bags in Japan
chatondeneige chatondeneige 7 years
Paris Hilton has lots of jobs, actually. She had a music career, a few movies which she was in, multiple TV reality shows (Whatever her Nicole Riche show was, as well as one on MTV) and I think she has a clothes line or something equally ridiculous. While I hardly think she's a worthwhile person, it's not fair to say she doesn't have a day job.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I don't think I have a favorite, but my least favorite is definitely Sienna Miller. That woman annoys me beyond words.
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