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The ton

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on June 05, 2005

In Reply to: The ton posted by ESC on June 05, 2005

: In this novel set in London in the 1800s, "Polite Society" is referred to as "the ton." Does anyone know the origin/meaning of that? The book is "The Paid Companion" by Amanda Quick (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2004).

It is a shortening of the French phrase "bon ton", literally "good breeding / good manners". So "the ton" was a synonym for "polite society". It was pronounced in the French way, not as in "a ton weight".

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