派手 [はで] – showy; flashy; gaudy
- 派 [ハ] – faction; sect; clique
- 手 [シュ・て] – hand
Taken at face value, this compound has never made much sense to me. Faction-hand?
The first time I heard this word, it was in the form of a question posed by an ex-girlfriend: ね〜、派手な女好き？ Going by the dictionary definition of the word, it was hard to imagine what she meant. “Do you like gaudy women?” The explanation came when I looked over at the woman who had sparked the question in the first place. She was hot, wore lots of make up, high heels, and a skin-tight skirt. Ever since that question, that is how I imagine 派手.