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jca's avatar

Grammar Police: If something is made by an artisan, is it called "artisan" or "artisanal?"?

Asked by jca (36062points) July 17th, 2015

I’m on some craft pages in Facebook, and people refer to their items as (for example) “artisan soaps” meaning handmade, fine soaps. I think the proper phrase should be “artisanal soaps.”

Can you please help me? If something is “special” would you refer to it as “artisan” or “artisanal?”

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19 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

The adjective is artisanal, Artisan is the person who made it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Bread is artisan bread. Never heard it as artisanal.

Pandora's avatar
There is a sentence example. And it is an adjective.

bossob's avatar

Interesting. I don’t recall ever seeing ‘artisanal ’.

To my ear, artisan sounds better. Artisanal bread doesn’t sound as appealing as artisan bread.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So what is an artisan well?

jca's avatar

I learned the word “Artisanal” because there’s a restaurant in NYC that I’ve been to, a very good restaurant, a “fromagerie bistro.” Then I learned what “artisanal” meant. All these things I see being called “artisan” like the example above, “artisan bread,” “artisan soap.” To me it sounds silly but I was not sure.

@Dutchess_III: That’s an artesian well.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Better google myself!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

An artisan well is one where the water flows up and out with no pumping required.

jca's avatar

Artesian Aquifer:

Dutchess_III's avatar

I googled it.

rojo's avatar

An artist (or artisan) is someone who produces a unique product; who is, perhaps, a little over-concerned with the minutiae that goes into the article and thus the finished object has come to be know as “Artis-anal” although most people are not that OCD and, therefore when using the descriptive adjective, are more likely to leave out the hyphen.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think @zenvelo gets it right, but it’s one of those things where common usage has rendered the noun acceptable as a modifier.

whitenoise's avatar

I would say both are okay.

“An artisan bakes artisan bread.” is a perfectly okay sentence.

And I am not alone:

Strauss's avatar

If I brewed hand-crafted a special type of ale, for sale only in the winter, I would be the artisan, and the product could be called seasonal artisanal ale.

And water that was hand-bottled from a perpendicular well would be called artisanal artesian.

Bill1939's avatar

I Wikied it, “The adjective “artisanal” is sometimes used in describing hand-processing in what is usually viewed as an industrial process, such as in the phrase artisanal mining. Thus, “artisanal” is sometimes used in marketing and advertising as a buzz word to describe or imply some relation with the crafting of handmade food products, such as bread, beverages or cheese. Many of these have traditionally been handmade, rural or pastoral goods but are also now commonly made on a larger scale with automated mechanization in factories and other industrial areas.”

Artisan ‘object’ is an incomplete sentence. A verb would couple them and complete it, and a verb can be presumed to exist. Though artisanal may be correct, I prefer artisan soap over artisanal soap.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I would call that anal.

JLeslie's avatar

I think probably both are ok. Seeing how America tends to go for the short version, I’ll lean towards Artisan.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Are we really that concerned about it?
The others are probably right but I am going with @bossob and @Espiritus_Corvus on this one.

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