It's certainly true that on the whole the English traditionally don't like swank. This is perhaps why our finest private houses tend to be hidden at the end of mile-long drives, disguised as warehouses, or carefully designed so they appear to be made out of a baby giant's toy bricks.
But there are, nevertheless, people in England who swank: they might flaunt their gold, brandish some form of new technology, or display a personalised car number plate.
The effect on the rest of us is generally a glow of warm, as well as very happy, contempt.
Just sometimes, though, an example of swank appears that's so blatant, so ridiculous, that it comes surrounded by a sort of halo of joyful astonishment.
I saw a car parked outside the ancient, famous, and expensive school Winchester College a couple of weeks ago.
Its personalised number plate was in Latin.
URB1S: of the city.
Outrageous? Yes. Full of arrogance? Yes. Still making me smile?
Yes - and, you know something?
I think it always will.
Word To Use Today: swank. This word might be from the Middle German swanken, to sway.
Now, a Middle German number plate. That would really be something...