Word of the Day : September 28, 2018


noun TROO-soh


: the personal possessions of a bride usually including clothes, accessories, and household linens and wares

Did You Know?

Trousseau is a descendant of the French verb trousser, meaning "to truss" or "to tuck up." Fittingly, a bride might truss, or bundle, a variety of items as part of her trousseau—and it is not too surprising that truss is also a trousser descendant. A less common descendant of trousser is retroussé, meaning "turned up," as in a "retroussé nose." The ultimate origin of trousser is likely the Latin verb torquēre, which means "to twist." Torquēre has many descendants in the language, among them a number of "tort" words (distort, contort, retort, extort), torque, and torture.


I am fortunate to be in possession of various family heirlooms, including several items from my great-grandmother's trousseau.

"Sifting through these abandoned papers … one gets the sense of a community occupied primarily with day-to-day concerns: The price of wheat, the contents of a daughter's trousseau, news from a relative one hasn't heard from in a while, a dispute over grazing rights, the quality of a certain fabric from Morocco." — Michael David Lukas, The Forward (New York City, New York), 30 Mar. 2018

Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete a word formerly used in law for the personal property of a married woman that she can dispose of by will: p _ r _ p _ e _ na _ _ a.



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