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fichu

[fish-oo; French fee-shy]
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noun, plural fich·us [fish-ooz; French fee-shy] /ˈfɪʃ uz; French fiˈʃü/.
  1. a woman's kerchief or shawl, generally triangular in shape, worn draped over the shoulders or around the neck with the ends drawn together on the breast.
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Origin of fichu

1795–1805; < French: noun use of fichu, past participle of ficher to drive in, fix (informally, to throw, fling; hence, something put on hastily, loosely attached) < Vulgar Latin *fīgicāre, for Latin fīgere; cf. finca
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for fichu

cloth, stole, scarf, choker, mantle, shawl, cope, cloak, wrapper, cardinal, wrap, poncho, gabardine, tippet, pelisse, Vandyke, capote, mantilla, tabard, dolman

Examples from the Web for fichu

Historical Examples of fichu

  • The green chiffon crossed the shoulders in fichu effect, and the elbow-length sleeves were edged with bands of green.

    What Will People Say?

    Rupert Hughes

  • Pamela's contained a rather short-waisted frock of lilac silk, with a fichu of chiffon tied softly round the shoulders.

  • It only wants the sleeves shortened and some lace put in, and the neck turned down to make it lower, and then a fichu put round.

  • The women wore a calico skirt, a white shirt with a bracelet at the elbow to hold the sleeves and a fichu on the head.

    The History of Cuba, vol. 2

    Willis Fletcher Johnson

  • She furthermore wore a fichu of a style which had been entirely extinct for fifty years at least.


British Dictionary definitions for fichu

fichu

noun
  1. a woman's shawl or scarf of some light material, worn esp in the 18th century
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Word Origin for fichu

C19: from French: small shawl, from ficher to fix with a pin, from Latin fīgere to fasten, fix
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fichu

n.

1803, from French fichu (18c. in this sense), apparently a noun use of the adj. fichu "carelessly thrown on," from Latin figere "to fasten" (see fix). "[M]od. substitution for a coarser word" [Weekley].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper