Simon-Pure

   Susannah Centlivre, a prominent writer of farcical comedies, wrote a play in 1718 that has provided the English language with a new word meaning "utterly pure or real:" This play, titled A Bold Stroke for a Wife, had as its hero a man named Simon Pure. The name of that man has come to mean, in everyday English, the real or genuine article. When the authenticity of a thing is unqualified and beyond dispute, it may be said to be simon-pure.
   In the play, Simon Pure, a Quaker from Philadelphia, is a man of impeccable reputation. He has received a letter of introduction to a Miss Anne Lovely, a pretty young woman and heiress to a handsome fortune. Meanwhile, a certain Colonel Fainwell steals the letter and gains entrance into Anne Lovely's home by passing himself off as Simon Pure. Fainwell obtains the guardian's written consent to marry Anne. Simon Pure has a difficult time proving that Fainwell is an impostor, but in the end the hero gets the girl.
   The only thing about all this that is not a farce is the genuineness of the hero—he was simon-pure.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • simon-pure — (adj.) 1815, from the true Simon Pure the genuine person or thing (1795), from Simon Pure, name of a Quaker who is impersonated by another character (Colonel Feignwell) in part of the comedy A Bold Stroke for a Wife (1717) by Susannah Centlivre,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Simon-pure — Si mon pure , a. Genuine; true; real; authentic; a term alluding to the comedy character Simon Pure, who is impersonated by another and is obliged to prove himself to be the real Simon Pure. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • simon-pure — [sī΄mən pyoor′] adj. [after Simon Pure, a Quaker in Susanna Centlivre s play A Bold Stroke for a Wife (1718), who must prove his identity against an impostor s claims] genuine; real; authentic …   English World dictionary

  • Simon Pure — /sīˈmən pūrˈ/ noun The real person (or thing) ORIGIN: From a character in Susannah Centlivre s comedy, A Bold Stroke for a Wife (1717) • • • sīˈmon pure adjective Real, genuine …   Useful english dictionary

  • simon-pure — /suy meuhn pyoor /, adj. real; genuine: a simon pure accent. [1710 20; short for the real Simon Pure, alluding to the victim of impersonation in Susanna Centlivre s play A Bold Stroke for a Wife (1718)] * * * …   Universalium

  • simon-pure — si′mon pure′ [[t]ˈsaɪ mən[/t]] adj. 1) real; genuine 2) untainted; pure • Etymology: 1795–1805; short for the real Simon Pure, alluding to the victim of impersonation in S. Centlivre s play A Bold Stroke for a Wife (1718) …   From formal English to slang

  • simon-pure — adjective Etymology: from the real Simon Pure, alluding to a character impersonated by another in the play A Bold Stroke for a Wife (1718) by Susannah Centlivre Date: 1840 of untainted purity or integrity; also pretentiously or hypocritically… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • simon-pure — adjective completely genuine or honest. Origin C18: from (the real) Simon Pure, a character in Centlivre s A Bold Stroke for a Wife (1717), who for part of the play is impersonated by another character …   English new terms dictionary

  • Simon Pure — /saɪmən ˈpjʊə/ (say suymuhn pyoohuh) noun a genuine, honest person. {from the phrase the real Simon Pure, referring to a character who is impersonated by another in English dramatist Susanna Centlivre s 1717 play A Bold Stroke for a Wife} …   Australian English dictionary

  • simon-pure — adj. real, genuine. Etymology: (the real) Simon Pure, a character in Centlivre s Bold Stroke for a Wife (1717) …   Useful english dictionary

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