a kerchief or shawl, generally triangular in shape, worn draped over the shoulders or around the neck with the ends drawn together on the breast.
Fichu “a triangular shawl worn draped over the shoulders” is a borrowing from French, in which it is the past participle of the verb ficher “to do, give; kick out, fall apart.” Though the term fichu in French is often translated today as “screwed up,” a more traditional translation would be “thrown hastily,” much as the fichu garment is loosely attached as though it were hastily tossed over the shoulders. French has two verbs spelled ficher—the one discussed above, with the participle fichu, and another meaning “to drive or plug in by its point,” with the participle fiché—and both derive from Latin fīgere “to fasten, pierce.” Fīgere, through its stem fīx-, is the source of English fix, fixation, fixture, and suffix, all of which have to do with repairing or attaching something. Fichu was first recorded in English circa 1800.
From time to time one heard the crack of a whip behind the hedge; then the gates opened, a chaise entered. Galloping up to the foot of the steps, it stopped short and emptied its load. They got down from all sides, rubbing knees and stretching arms. The ladies, wearing bonnets, had on dresses in the town fashion, gold watch chains, pelerines with the ends tucked into belts, or little coloured fichus fastened down behind with a pin, and that left the back of the neck bare.
an elaborately patterned lacelike webbing made of hand-knotted cord, yarn, or the like, and used for wall decorations, hanging baskets, garments, accessories, etc.
Macramé “a lacelike webbing made of hand-knotted cord” comes by way of French from Italian macramè, referring to a kind of fringe on hand towels. Note that both the French and Italian terms here stress the final syllable, while English stresses the first. Prior to Italian, macramè was borrowed from Turkish makrama “napkin, face towel,” which derives in turn from Arabic miqrama “embroidered coverlet, veil, bedspread.” Because of their location in the eastern Mediterranean, languages such as Turkish and Ancient Greek often served as channels for words from Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Sanskrit (or Hindi) to pass into the rest of Europe. Arabic-origin words such as coffee, kismet, sherbet, sofa, sorbet, and vizier passed through Turkish first on their way to English. Macramé was first recorded in English in the late 1860s.
“It has such a funny heritage,” said Alexa Adams, the designer, along with Flora Gill, of the conceptual women’s-wear line Ohne Titel. This season, the two managed to make macramé look modern again by combining it with mesh, chiffon and silk-cotton cording in muted tones. The result was wonderfully intricate dresses that cling to the body, and high-heel sandals that, designed in collaboration with Cesare Paciotti, are some of spring’s coolest.
The pattern was simple, striking and modern: No chunky bead embellishments, just crisp, white rope …. This looks expensive, but I could probably just make it myself …. Making macramé–by definition, cord tied into decorative knots–seemed doable. No messy paints or toxic turpentine involved. I assumed it would only take a spool of rope (which I bought for a few dollars at a hardware store) and that font of knowledge: the Internet.
dipped in flour, sautéed in butter, and sprinkled with lemon juice and chopped parsley.
Meunière “dipped in flour, sautéed in butter, and sprinkled with lemon juice” is short for French à la meunière “in the manner of a miller’s wife.” The à la construction in French literally translates as “to the” or “in the,” as in past Word of the Day à la mode “in the fashion,” but is also often used more figuratively to mean “in the manner of.” Meunière, the feminine form of meunier “miller,” comes from Vulgar Latin molīnārius, an agent noun form of Late Latin molīna “mill,” a variant of molīnum. Molīnum is the ultimate source of English mill as well as French moulin, which you may recognize as the name of the Moulin Rouge cabaret in Paris, easily recognized for the gigantic red windmill on its roof. Meunière was first recorded in English in the 1840s.
Fish was crucial to Sarah’s project, for as long as she could coax Daniel and Maxime to eat it, cooking up the flour-dredged sole meunière in sparkling butter while ignoring their demands for meat, she could serve not only an orange crème or chocolate éclair for dessert but also cheese at the end of the meal, picking up a melting piece of the increasingly acceptable Bries available…
There was always that little rich decadent tin of lark pâté in the cupboard if I grew bored, or we could stroll down past the great ponds under the plane trees to the deft, friendly welcome of the Restaurant Thomé and eat a grilled pullet or a trout meunière, and an orange baked à la norvegienne. Or we could stay home and I would try at last the mayonnaise maker I had bought…
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