Tuesday, April 27, 2010

No furbelows here ;-)

"Furbelows?" Heh, your blogger couldn't resist using this word just learned the other day while dining out. The restaurant had some old newspapers on the walls, from the 1940s, and in one article about a woman speaking at an event, she was described as relating the situation without any furbelows at all. Clearly the meaning was that she spoke plainly, in a straight forward fashion, but "furbelows?"

Luckily your library has the Oxford English Dictionary online, where it informs one that a furbelow is "A piece of stuff pleated and puckered on a gown or petticoat; a flounce..." and by extension came to be used as a contemptuous term for unnecessary ornamentation or fluff.

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