While I don’t like this word merely by default, it’s significant that I particularly dislike the word “boyfriend.” It’s a clumsy word that misrepresents at every syllable: it inaccurately describes an age (“boy”), understates the connection (“friend”), and generally makes even the most refined user sound as if she or he is bragging in a high school hallway.
Beau scores a linguistic trifecta: accurate (a boyfriend or male admirer,) efficient (quick and baggage-free,) and euphonious (say “Where’s your beau?” aloud and note the slippery sweetness of a subtle Cajun accent.) Its French origin has provided a proper pedigree for discussions of the heart, while “boyfriend” sounds like a word invented by Project Managers intent on simplified quantification. Beau is lovely, and worthy of resurgence, and I’m willing to lead the revivification. At least until my daughter becomes a teenager — then I will not like either of these words.