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February 09, 2013

Word of the Day

  • froufrou
  • audio pronunciation
  • \FROO-froo\
  • DEFINITION

noun

1
: a rustling especially of a woman's skirts
2
: showy or frilly ornamentation
  • EXAMPLES

Styled in the manner of a Victorian mansion, the bed-and-breakfast featured so much froufrou that Darlene and Brian dared not touch a thing.

"Indeed, there was less froufrou on display over all, a development that may—at least in the short term—bury the tired question of whether haute couture is relevant and instead focus attention on what makes it exciting." — From an article by Amy Verner in The Globe and Mail (Canada), July 14, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Nineteenth-century Europe featured a lot of sophisticated fashions—especially in Paris, a city considered by many to be the fashion capital of the world. Women's dresses were often made of drooping layers of fabric (such as satin or silk) that rustled as the women moved around, and "froufrou" was the French word coined in imitation of the sound they made. The word made its first appearance in English in 1870 as a noun meaning "rustling." It later came to mean "ostentatious decoration," and its usage expanded beyond the world of fashion to other crafts such as architecture and interior design. These days it also shows up as the adjective "frou-frou," meaning "very heavily decorated and fancy," as in "frou-frou designs."

Test Your Vocabulary: What is the meaning of the noun "susurrus"? The answer is ...

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