Grisette

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Grisette A French girl or young married woman of the lower class; more frequently, a young working woman who is fond of gallantry.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n grisette Originally, a sort of gray woolen fabric, much used for dresses by women of the lower classes in France: so called from its gray color. Hence —2. A young woman of the working class; especially, a young woman employed as a shopgirl, a sewing girl, or a chambermaid: commonly applied by foreigners in Paris to the young women of this class who are free in their manners on the streets or in the shops.
    • n grisette The noctuid moth Acronycta strigosa: an English collectors' name. Synonyms See lorette.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Grisette gri-zet′ a gay young Frenchwoman of the lower class.
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., fr. grisette a gray woolen cloth, fr. gris, gray. Grisettes were so called because they wore gray gowns made of this stuff. See Gars
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. grisette, a gray gown, which used to be worn by that class—gris, gray.

Usage

In literature:

On all but me the darkness lies And my Grisette!
"Bohemian Days" by Geo. Alfred Townsend
And then the Highland Mary to love, amid the heather, as compared to Lise the Grisette in a Parisian Suburb!
"Letters of Edward FitzGerald to Fanny Kemble (1871-1883)" by Edward FitzGerald
The grisette eventually keeps her carriage, and retires with sufficient to support her in her old age, if she does not marry.
"Diary in America, Series Two" by Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)
Echevarria related anecdotes of Paris, with many adventures he had encountered among the grisettes.
"The White Chief" by Mayne Reid
Like to see Vedrines fly, and the Louvre and the gay grisettes too by heck!
"The Trail of the Hawk" by Sinclair Lewis
Grisettes hang about the necks of departing braves.
"The Dodge Club" by James De Mille
To abandon the interests of a princess of the blood to gain the good graces of a grisette.
"The Conspirators" by Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
But no one will blame the same student for living in concubinage with a grisette.
"The Sexual Question" by August Forel
And is not the snatch of dance tune of a Parisian grisette impudent?
"Belcaro" by Vernon Lee
Perhaps the grisette, shopwoman, or lady's-maid would have acquitted herself better.
"An Englishman in Paris" by Albert D. (Albert Dresden) Vandam
***

In poetry:

Paris, half Angel, half Grisette,
I would that I were with thee yet,
But London waits me, like a wife,--
London, the love of my whole life.
"Paris Day" by Richard Le Gallienne
Paris, half Angel, half Grisette,
I would that I were with thee yet,
Where the long boulevard at even
Stretches its starry lamps to heaven,
And whispers from a thousand trees
Vague hints of the Hesperides.
"Paris Day" by Richard Le Gallienne