I"ve heard this used colloquially much more than I"ve ever seen it used in writing. Is there any formally accepted way to use within writing? For example, to describe a scene as being "Renaissance-esque."


It is an easy-to-use suffix which is probably abused in speaking:

From wiktionary:

2012 August 21, Jason Heller, “The Darkness: Hot Cakes (Music Review)”, The Onion AV Club:

When the album succeeds, such as on the swaggering, Queen-esque “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us,” it does so on The Darkness’ own terms—that is, as a random ’80s-cliché generator.
Here is the entry for -esque in Michael Quinion, Ologies and Isms: Word Beginnings and Endings (2002):

-esque In the style of; resembling.

You are watching: Esque at the end of a word

{From French, via Italian -esco from medieval Latin -iscus.

This suffix is commonly attached to personal names to form adjectives that indicate a creative in that person"s style. Caravaggesque (from the Italian painter Caravaggio). Chaplinesque, Disneyesque (usually today the organization rather than the late Walt Disney himself), Felliniesque, Kafkaesque, Pinteresque, Tolkienesque. It can also be attached to names of periods of architecture (Romanesque) and generates words referring to the beliefs or personal characteristics of an individual, usually in politics: Clintonesque, Majoresque, Thatcheresque. Such terms are frequently created at need and are often ephemeral.

Other examples are formed from nouns: carnivalesque, grotesque (originally, resembling a grotto, from Italian grottesca), picturesque, statuesque. Some examples are now themselves nouns: arabesque (literally, something in an Arab style), burlesque (a parody or comically exaggerated imitation of something, from Italian burklesco, from burla, mockery; this can also be a verb).

Merriam-Webster"s Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) lists these first known published occurrence dates in ubraintv-jp.com for various -esque words that Quinion identifies (and a few others):

grotesque (1561), arabesque (ca. 1656), burlesque (1667), picturesque (1703), Romanesque (1763), carnivalesque (1791), statuesque (1834), humoresque (1889), Rubenesque (1913), Disneyesque (1939), Kafkaesque (1946)

From this list it seems clear that -esque has been used as a suffix ending in ubraintv-jp.com for a long time, particularly for words where the writer or speaker wants to convey the sense "in the style of." Quinion, suggests, however, that the suffix appears in new words most often as a temporary expedient for associating a style with a public figure of the moment. I suspect that the suffix"s appeal varies to some extent depending on the visual and aural effect of the finished word. For example, a Québécois separatist, operating in the style of PQ founder René Lévesque would probably not be widely described as Lévesquesque, nor a philosophical adherent of Montesquieu as Montesquieuesque. Even a word whose only complication is that it has too many letters or too many syllables may fail to pass muster with the reading and listening public—as might well be the case with Modiglianiesque.

It is also noteworthy that some Italian words have entered ubraintv-jp.com without having their -esco/-esca ending transformed to -esque. For example, the Eleventh Collegiate notes that puttanesca (referring to a tomato sauce made with garlic, olives and capers) has appeared in ubraintv-jp.com texts since 1969, without encountering any evident pressure to change its spelling to puttanesque.

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I share ab2"s view (given in a comment beneath the poster"s question) that Renaissancesque (or Renaissance-esque) is not a very appealing word. Under the circumstances, Renaissance-style is likely to strike many ubraintv-jp.com speakers and writers as being a more attractive—and therefore more satisfactory—way of expressing the same idea.