Soiree – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Have you ever attended a party that is hosted in the early part of the evening? Perhaps you want to throw a get-together that is not quite a dinner party, but also not a luncheon? If so, then chances are you attended or want to host a soiree. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.

Meaning

A soiree means an evening party or gathering. Unlike a night party or event, an evening party is typically an elegant gathering between a localized number of people. It means that you are expected to dress well in elegant, or at least elegantly casual attire. In most cases, a soiree is hosted in someone’s home, or at a location that allows for an intimate setting.

A dinner party, get-together, or casual party may be similar, but the rules are quite different. In order for an event to be considered a soiree, it must be semi-formal, or completely formal in nature. The timing is also important. It must be hosted well past the lunch hour, but before what is considered the dinner hour. Higher-end snacks or a fancy meal may be provided. While live music is common at a soiree, it is also possible to host one without it. A soiree can have any theme ranging from a political discussion to an event focused on announcing a wedding.

Example Usage

“I would love for you and your family to come over this weekend for my spring soiree”.

“John and I went to the loveliest soiree over the weekend, it was all very posh”.

“Have you ever attended one of Ms. Haberdashers’ soirees? They are the event of the season!”

“I plan to host a soiree on Friday focused on the hot topic of the year, I hope you will attend?”

Origin

The word soiree originates from the old French language. In Old French, the original word is seir, which later was updated to seree. It originated from the Latin language, specifically sērō. The English version, soiree is derived directly from the French word soir, which means evening. In French, there is a specific reference between time frames. That being that soir represents the time from sunset until evening.

Most speakers of English don’t use words for parties or events that have a specific time frame. However, the language is set up in a way that makes it easy to understand the time reference. For example, saying that you will play cards in the evening refers to an all-night affair. However, saying you will meet someone the next evening for dinner implies an early-night affair.

Phrases Similar to Soiree

  • Party
  • Get together
  • Event
  • Get together
  • Bash
  • Function
  • Gala

Phrases Opposite to Soiree

  • Meeting
  • Concert
  • Work event
  • Commune
  • Intimate gathering

What is the Correct Saying?

  • The proper saying is – soiree.

Ways People May Incorrectly Say Soiree

A soiree is usually held in the late afternoon to early evening. Many people mistakenly consider night parties or even mantes, soirees, thus using the phrase incorrectly. Some ways that Soiree is used incorrectly are:

  • I attended a 3 person soiree last fall, but I doubt you know about it.
  • Something like a soiree or a one-on-one date is perfect for a first meetup.
  • Breakfast soirees are the best events, in my opinion, there is nothing like a morning party.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Soiree

Using the phrase soiree is an elegant way to add class and style to your interment event. If you are not sure how to use the word properly, a few examples may come in handy. Some ways that Soiree is used correctly are:

  • If you want to make a good impression, it is a good idea to be on time for the soiree today.
  • Our spur-of-the-moment soiree has a theme of donuts, cupcakes, and marshmallows.
  • The Devante brothers certainly know how to throw a memorable soiree, it’s always in the papers.
  • We would be so honored if the queen decided to grace our small soiree with her honored presence.

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