Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Thu May 1 14:44:18 UTC 2008

A (well-coifed female) student informs me that, in addition to the 69-cent bottles of Suave shampoo (available in several colors and flavors), there exists a somewhat pricier line of so-called "Suave Professional" products, each bottle of which bears a reference to an analogous prestige brand that is being emulated.

But that situation doesn't exactly qualify as a "knockoff" either, does it? (I assume the fakery of a genuine knockoff is surreptitious.)


---- Original message ----
>Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 10:24:53 -0400
>From: Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>Subject: Re: "suave"

>He's just making that up, Charlie. I doubt that anybody - i.e. *I* don't - connects "suave" with Suave.

and what does he mean when he refers to "a line of *knockoff* shampoos"? I know that the "Relax" watch that you can buy from New york sidewalk vendors is a knockoff of the Rolex watch. But in what sense is the brand name of a line of hair products a "knockoff" of an adjective?
>On Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 9:59 AM, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:
>>  From the mystery novel _The Lost Van Gogh_, by A. J. Zerries (2006):  "The French dealer was everything 'suave' used to stand for, before a line of knockoff shampoos irreversibly debased the word" (p. 144).
>>  I'd never noticed or considered the purported debasing of "suave." I wonder if it has really happened. How common is it that the use of a word as a brand name affects the word's connotations?
>>  --Charlie

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