[Americans] use the word “handsome” much more extensively than we do: saying that Webster made a handsome speech in the Senate: that a lady talks handsomely, (eloquently:) that a book sells handsomely. A gentleman asked me on the Catskill Mountain, whether I thought the sun handsomer there than at New York. [Harriet Martineau, “Society in America,” 1837]
巴特利特(1848) 引用韦伯斯特(词典编纂者) 对这一美国通俗用法的 handsome :“一般来说, 当应用于事物时, 它导入的是形式对眼睛, 或对品味的同意; 而当应用于方式时, 它传达的是适合或恰当与优雅的概念.” 相关链接: Handsomeness. 感官的发展, 可参考 pretty (副词), fair (副词). 荷兰语中类似的形成 handzaam “tractable, serviceable”.
Handsome is founded upon the notion of proportion, symmetry, as the result of cultivation or work; a handsome figure is strictly one that has been developed by attention to physical laws into the right proportions. It is less spiritual than beautiful; a handsome face is not necessarily a beautiful face. [Century Dictionary, 1895]