Our Pride Giveaway
anything used or serving to decorate or complete: the trimmings of a Christmas tree.
It is quite a jump to go from Byrhtnoth, Ealdorman of Essex, arranging his men in battle order (trymian) against the Vikings (recorded in the magnificent Old English poem The Battle of Maldon) to cranberry sauce and creamed onions with the Thanksgiving turkey. The Old English adjective trum “strong, firm” is the source of the verb trymian, trymman “to encourage, strengthen, prepare.” The Old English noun trymming, derived from the verb, means “strengthening, confirmation, edification, establishment.” The modern spelling trimming first appears in the first half of the 16th century with several meanings. One is “the repair or preparation of equipment, especially fitting out of a ship,” e.g., “trimming of the sails.” A second sense, all but contemporaneous with the first, is “adornment, dressing one’s hair or beard, dressing up.” A third sense of trimming, perhaps associated with the notion of dressing (up), is “a rebuke, a beating,” that is, “a dressing down.” In the early 17th century, trimming, especially in the plural, and typically in the phrase “all the trimmings,” meant “ordinary accessories (as for a house or cooked meat).” In the early 19th century, trimming acquired the meaning “pieces cut off, cuttings, scraps.”
It was after eleven when William in his socks made his way to the attic where the trimmings for the tree were stored.
Painting china, carving wood, button-holing butterflies and daisies onto Turkish towelling, and making peacock-feather trimming, amused her for a time …
Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. to crouch, squeeze, or huddle (usually followed by down, in, or up).
Scrooch “to crouch, squeeze, huddle” was originally a U.S. colloquial and dialect word. It is probably a variant of scrouge “to squeeze, crowd,” itself a blend of the obsolete verb scruze “to squeeze” and gouge. To make things even more unclear, scruze itself is a blend of screw and bruise. Scrooch entered English in the 19th century.
When you want to get up again, you sort of scrooch forward and the chair comes up straight so you don’t have to dislocate your sciatica trying to get out of the pesky thing.
Myr Korso, please tell him to scrooch down if he has to be there.
a library or reading room.
Athenaeum ultimately derives from Greek Athḗnaion, the name of the temple of Athena in ancient Athens where poets read their works. It entered English in the 1720s.
The back of his state-issued S.U.V. is stacked with notebooks filled with ideas and data culled from books and articles and conversations with nearly four hundred experts; it’s a kind of rolling athenaeum.
At the top of the main staircase, with patterned risers and leather-covered treads, a bedroom was turned into the Athenaeum, or classical library.
a false hairpiece.
Postiche, like many cultural terms derived from the Romance languages, has a complicated etymology, what with the borrowing and lending of forms and meanings between Latin, Late Latin, Medieval Latin, Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. The English word postiche, from French postiche, has two original meanings: as an adjective, it is a term used in architecture and sculpture and means “added on, especially inappropriately; artificial, counterfeit”; as a noun, it means “a hairpiece made of false hair.” The French word may come from Spanish postizo “artificial, substitute,” or from Italian posticcio with the same meanings. The Spanish and Italian forms most likely derive from Late Latin apposticius “placed beside or on” (and equivalent to Latin appositus “adjacent, near at hand, suitable”).
… the Goulet postiche is guaranteed to blend imperceptibly with the wearer’s own hair, for I refuse to settle for anything less than a perfect match.
… when the hair had been thoroughly dyed it could only recover its natural colour by this slow process, but that usually the effect was concealed by a postiche …
abruptness and bluntness in manner; brusqueness.
Brusquerie, which still feels like a French word, is a derivative of the adjective brusque. The French adjective comes from Italian brusco “rough, tart,” a special use of the noun brusco “butcher’s broom” (the name of a shrub). Brusco may come from Latin bruscum “a knot or growth on a maple tree”; or brusco may be a conflation of Latin ruscus, ruscum “butcher’s broom” and Vulgar Latin brūcus “heather.” Brusquerie entered English in the mid-18th century.
… I could see that she was doing her best to irritate me with the brusquerie of her answers.
I hope you have not been so foolish as to take offence at any little brusquerie of mine …
Chiefly British Slang. (formerly) an annual dinner or party given by an employer for employees.
Beanfeast is a perfectly ordinary compound of the humble bean and feast. A beanfeast was originally an annual dinner given by employers for their employees, but the word acquired the sense “festive occasion” by the end of the 19th century. Beanfeast entered English in the early 19th century.
In August the annual outing, or, as it was called, the bean-feast, at the works took place.
Why do we come? … Simply from the primordial love of a bean-feast!
an ornamental branched holder for more than one candle.
Candelabrum comes straight from Latin candēlābrum, formed from the noun candēla “a candle, taper” (from the verb candēre “to shine, gleam”) and -brum, a variant of -bulum, a suffix for forming neuter nouns for tools or places. English candle (Old English candel, condel) had already been in Old English long enough to become part of its poetic vocabulary, e.g., Glād ofer grundas / Godes condel beorht “God’s bright candle glided over the grounds” in the magnificent poem “The Battle of Brunanburh” recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (c. 955). Candelabrum entered English in the 19th century.
The menorah is an eight-branched candelabrum that is symbolic of the celebration of Hanukkah.
… I bade Pedro to close the heavy shutters of the room … to light the tongues of a tall candelabrum which stood by the head of my bed–and to throw open far and wide the fringed curtains of black velvet which enveloped the bed itself.