"finesse", the adjective

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Aug 10 15:24:35 UTC 2012

On Aug 10, 2012, at 11:05 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> At 8/10/2012 10:37 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> ...
>> But as noted, the meaning is entirely different--power teams or
>> offenses may not be powerful, or vice versa, since "power" here,
>> like "finesse", refers to a style of play, not the effectiveness of
>> the playing.
> I agree the meaning is different -- I meant only that I would wonder
> whether the writer actually meant, and should have used, "powerful".
> There isn't any "finesseful" yet, but perhaps there should
> be.  (Which unlike "powerful" would be unlikely to transfer to "the
> effectiveness of playing".)  Or "finessish"?
I think the word is "finessy":

The Raps should be deeper than last year too, with scoring pg Jarret Jack and Reggie Evans bringing a measure of grit to a very finessy team.

For all the 2+ saves and power weapons, it's a very finessy army.

woodies are a different story but also not forgiving and very finessy and limited in methods of play.

--although "very finesse" occurs as well, indeed much more frequently, where "finesse" must be an adjective rather than noun:  

We are back to being a very finesse team.

Lopez is a very finesse center.

She has off the ball awareness and is a very finesse player.

He's still a very finesse player & its irritating watching his style of play.
(Note that it occurs in both positive and negative contexts.)

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