Bespoke

bespoke \bih-SPOHK\, adjective:

1. Made to individual order; custom-made.
2. Of the making or selling such clothes.
3. (Archaic:) Engaged to be married; spoken for.

Bespoke is an artifact of the archaic English verb bespeak, “to arrange beforehand.”

When Miranda was a child, she didn’t like using the phrase “second-hand” to describe her clothing. She started stitching a small “M” on all of them, in red thread. The “M”s were very small and unnoticeable–unless you were looking– and usually she stitched them under the arms of shirts, or on the hems of her dresses and skirts. She did this so that when somebody asked her where she bought her clothes, she could lift up her arm, point at the “M,” and say, “I got it bespoken.”

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