II.6.(b) In proverbial phr. tall, dark, and handsome, denoting a type of attractive man (see also quot. 1965).
1906 R. E. KNOWLES Undertow xi. 135 He was tall -- and dark -- and handsome. 1940 Chatelaine Dec. 55/3 One Squadron Leader tells of filling an ‘order’ for ‘three tall, dark and handsomes to go dancing’. 1958 M. STEWART Nine Coaches Waiting vii. 93 Tall, dark and handsome -- the romantic cliché repeated itself in my head. 1965 T. WOLFE Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (1966) ix. 178 It was Cary Grant that Mae West was talking about when she launched the phrase ‘tall, dark and handsome’ in ‘She Done Him Wrong’ (1933). 1978 ‘H. CARMICHAEL’ Life Cycle v. 64 If she felt like leaning on his shoulder it was certainly not because he was tall, dark and handsome.
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