A debutante is a young woman who is first introduced into society. In former times, these young ladies would be part of nobility, or the upper class. Originally, the term meant the young person was now old enough to be married. The purpose of the coming out was to display her to eligible bachelors and their families. The term comes from French, and can be translated as "beginner".
In those days, a young lady of quality could not meet anyone unless they were introduced to her. This introduction could happen at an event (such as a ball) which was part of the 'season'. In Britain there was a formal presentation of the debutants to the monarch at Court (abolished by the present queen). According to the peerage guide Debrett's, the traditional social season runs from April to August.
References[change | change source]
- "Traditional Season". Debrett's. Retrieved 23 September 2010.