When referring to a guy, what's the difference between beautiful and handsome?

I was always under the impression that handsome was the male version of beautiful. I now hear people going "nah.. he's not handsome, he does look beautiful though".

And please, this is not describing personality - looks only.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Handsome is maybe more traditionally masculine and also sounds sort of old fashioned and formal. I'm more likely to call a guy I find attractive beautiful because saying beautiful has kind of less hegemonically masculine connotations and I go more for guys who have both masculine and feminine qualities, eg. looks-wise they'll maybe have more delicate features for example, and have a slighter frame. Also as Mocha_Queen said handsome very specifically references physical appearance whereas beautiful I feel like is a broader term and can be in reference to their personality as well, so they may be beautiful in that they're kind, compassionate, sensitive etc.

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What Girls Said 5

  • Hmm I don't know, I usually call a guy beautiful when I'm referring to his character, for example he is such a beautiful person for volunteering at a children's hospital. When I use the word handsome I'm referring to his looks. Hope that makes sense :)

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  • I think they both mean the guy is attractive.

    I reserve the word beautiful for people's personality though.
    And I never call guys handsome. It sounds so formal.

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  • I've never thought of a guy as beautiful. I will interchange gorgeous and handsome though. I use them for mostly the same purposes.

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  • maybe they mean that they look good by beautiful. but I never hear that.

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  • Handsome i think is for the more masculine side where as id probably say a gay guy is beautiful... just my opinion though :P

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What Guys Said 0

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