Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
Posts: 4536
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA


Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:31 am

• froufrou •

Pronunciation: fru-fru • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A swishing sound like that of rustling silk or satin. 2. Frilly, showy ornamentation, such as knick-knacks in a home or accessories on a dress.

Notes: This word is so new (in linguistic time), it has no derivational family. It may be used as a verb, as in "femininities froufrouing down the stairs" or "skirts that froufrou when you walk". That is the extent of the spread of this word to other grammatical categories. If you wish to break up the repetition, you may add a hyphen and spell today's Good Word frou-frou.

In Play: Froufrouing first and foremost refers to the sound made by silk or satin rubbing together: "Maude Lynn Dresser wore an outfit of so many draping layers of fabric that when she sat down or rose up from sitting, she created a symphony of froufrou." It can also refer to something stationary that catches the eye and is on the borderline of good taste: "The old Victorian house was filled with so much froufrou as to make anyone feel like a bull in a china shop."

Word History: Today's word is a French example of onomatopoeia. In 19th century Paris, women's dresses were often made of several layers of such materials as satin or silk that rustled when the women who wore them moved. The word froufrou was the French attempt at imitating that sound. When the word arrived in England, it first meant "rustling", but later took on the second meaning above, "frilly, show ornamentation".
• The Good Dr. Goodword

Junior Lexiterian
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:57 am


Postby durieux » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:27 am

A froufrou is also a women's haircut, in which the hair hangs down over one's forehead. See attachment.
OnTopOfYou20101007210115.jpg (74.61 KiB) Viewed 2636 times

Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 1079
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena


Postby MTC » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:16 pm

That beautiful, dark-eyed girl brightened my day, durieux.

Froufrou reminds me of a famous poem by Robert Herrick:

XCIII. "Whenas in silks my Julia goes"

WHENAS in silks my Julia goes  
Then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows  
That liquefaction of her clothes.  
Next, when I cast mine eyes and see  
That brave vibration each way free;          
Oh how that glittering taketh me!  
Last edited by MTC on Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 3958
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water


Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:47 pm

soughing of the wind
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 3192
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA


Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:03 pm

Liquifaction of clothes?

User avatar
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 5312
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY


Postby Slava » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:11 pm

durieux wrote:A froufrou is also a women's haircut, in which the hair hangs down over one's forehead.

I thought that was a "page-boy" style. Perhaps it's the long hair at the sides that makes it more froufrou-y?
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 2049
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas


Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:49 am

durieux: welcome to the forum. Post often.

Women’s hairstyle note from a definitely non-expert male: The beautiful girl may have a froufrou but I never heard the word used that way before. In common redneck parlance she has bangs. She does not have a pageboy because a pageboy requires short straight hair that curves inward at the ends. Bangs are optional. The hair must certainly not touch the shoulders. In the twenties a similar hairstyle was called bobbed, but bobbed hair might have curls. My mother had bobbed hair, shingled in the back, when she was a girl. My bride of many years had a pageboy when I met her. My daughters had flowing hair almost to their waists, definitely not pageboy. A haircut is called a pageboy because it was thought to be the hairstyle of male pageboys in medieval times. All styles mentioned above are vastly superior to the beehive hairdos of the sixties. These harkened back to the days of Louis the n-th of France.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 1079
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena


Postby MTC » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:47 am

The image of the beautiful, dark-eyed girl gazing directly into my eyes had the predictable effect of shorting out the frontal lobes. After a slow recovery and Philip's comments I researched the "frou frou" hairstyle, but found nothing like the simple, uncluttered hairstyle on the image provided by durieux. Instead I found frilly. fussy more elaborate hairstyles consistent with the meaning of frou frou.

Would durieux care to comment? I wouldn't be averse to more illustrations with beautiful girls. Just for the sake of clarity, of course.

Return to “Good Word Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests