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Prima Donna
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2012/12/03
4:32am
Raffee
Iran
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Will you, please, tell me all the meanings of the word? I found different meanings in different dictionaries; will you tell me which is the most common?

2012/12/03
5:23am
Glenn
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It is so interesting to me that you asked about this. I caught myself using this phrase a few weeks ago, and I thought I might ask others if they would still use it.

In my use, I meant it in its extended vernacular sense: someone who behaves in an excessively self-centered way, self-indulgent, demanding, prone to tantrums over small matters, appropriating goods and services heedless of the inconvenience or impact on others. Essentially, behaving like a spoiled child.

I would have little occasion to use it in its original formal sense as the principle female singer, since I’m not an opera-goer.

I did, in fact, use it in reference to a man, despite its clear reference to a woman in the Italian. That was to be my question. Would others consider using this phrase in its informal sense in reference to a man?

2012/12/03
6:29am
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Glenn, I might use it for a man. (But, as my posts can attest, my language does not suffer from the affliction of formality or correctness to its original form.)

Emmett

2012/12/03
11:56pm
tromboniator
Alaska
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Glenn, I think your usage is perfectly fine. Its common use in at least US English refers to the behavior you describe, all gender aside.

 

Peter

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