Words: dicty, adj.

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
THOSE WITH scant interest in the royals or Kennedys are surprised by Stuart Nicholson's admirable Duke Ellington: the Duke of Kent lost his virginity to Noel Coward in a theatre dressing room and took up with an Argentinian, Jorge Ferara. They had a menage a trois with Kiki Whitney Preston, the heiress, who plied him with cocaine and morphine; moreover, his piano-playing impressed Ellington.

They met at Lord Beaverbrook's: "very dicty. We were way up, feeling mellow." Not in the OED, it is a Twenties coining for fashionable - either snobbish or attractive - perhaps from decke: dressed. As Billie Holiday recalled, "A Rolls is only good for one thing, that's to be dicty." As for Ellington's drummer, he used to address the Prince of Wales as "Wale".

Comments