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Fedora

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Fedora

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:41 pm

• fedora •


Pronunciation: fê-dor-ê • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A men's felt or velvet hat with a wrap-around brim, usually creased either lengthwise or around the edge.

Notes: Men seldom wear hats anymore and, when they do, in the US they wear baseball caps, positioned forward or backward on their heads. However, if you watch movies from the 20s, 30s, and 40s you have seen thousands of fedoras. Occasionally, a fedora bobs up even today, but they were the only kind of hat men wore back then.

In Play: If a man wore a fedora back in the 40s, he would not stand out. Today is a different story: "Harley Davidson wanted to be noticed at the party, so he donned his father's old fedora before leaving." All the old fictional detectives wore fedoras: Sam Spade, Dick Tracy, Philip Marlowe—all wore fedoras.

Word History: Today's Good Word came from "Fédora", a popular play by Victorien Sardou (1831-1908) that opened in 1882. The heroine, a Russian princess named Fédora Romanoff, was played by Sarah Bernhardt, a very popular actress at the time. In this role, Bernhardt wore a center-creased, soft-brimmed hat. Women's-rights activists quickly adopted the fashion, then passed it on to men. The word itself is the Russian feminine correlate of Fëdor, as in Fëdor Dostoevsky. It is the Russian variant of Greek Theodoros, which English borrowed as Theodore. In Greek the word means "gift of god", from theos "god" + doron "gift". (Today's Good Word is a gift of Jackie Strauss, who tells me her husband wears a fedora even today.)
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Re: Fedora

Postby gailr » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:47 am

A fine word.

I've always had fedoras in my wardrobe. :D
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Re: Fedora

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:25 am

Real Texans never wear fedoras. The old-timers wore ten-gallon hats. My dad, who wouldn't be caught outside without a hat, wore a broad brimmed Stetson in the winter and a Panama hat in the summer. For outdoors work he wore a hardhat or an alligator weave straw hat. As a child, the only hats I had were alligator weave straw hats. When I worked as a chemical engineer I wore a hardhat. In college I bought a fedora and found out that Texans don't wear fedoras, especially not on college campuses, unless they are asking for trouble. Now I have no dress hat at all but still wear an alligator weave straw hat in the garden. I have a few gimmie caps but don't wear them often. If it is really cold, I wear a knit cap. In my experience, hoodies are verboten.

Who else in Agora land wears a hat and what kind?
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Re: Fedora

Postby MTC » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:15 am

For headgear I often wear my favorite blue, cotton cap with red "JPL" (for Jet Propulsion Laboratory) logo, a sharp, understated design. Gailr's fedoras sound quite stylish, and one might live in the shade of Philip's Texan collection which would be hard to "top." Oh yes, I forgot the straw fedora with a touristy floral headband I sometimes wear in summer with a margarita when I'm in a Buffet-like mood.
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Re: Fedora

Postby William Hupy » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:01 am

Then the feminine version of Theodore is Dorothy?
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Re: Fedora

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:07 pm

One sees them in GQ and on men's TV advertising.
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Re: Fedora

Postby Slava » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:23 pm

William Hupy wrote:Then the feminine version of Theodore is Dorothy?

Almost, but not exactly. Theodora is from Theodore, Dorothy is a reversal of Theodora's elements.
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Re: Fedora

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:25 pm

I once had a Fedora, probably back in the late 60s. I have seldom worn hats in my life and being unaccustomed to hats, I left it in a restaurant in Alexandria Louisiana within the first year after I got it. They were popular at the time, possibly due to the influence of JFK.
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Re: Fedora a fedora?

Postby wurdpurrson » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:47 am

Fedoras are cool and can be worn by male or female for a distinctive look. The also give rise to a very hoary "Italian"joke:
Ïs that
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Re: Fedora

Postby wurdpurrson » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:50 am

Ooops. Hit the wrong key; it's late here.
To continue:
"Is that a fedora?"
"No. It'sa for me."

Nyuk nyuk nyuk. . .
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Re: Fedora

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:18 pm

:( (but it is quite good, and will save it)
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Re: Fedora

Postby misterdoe » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:35 pm

I wore a fedora off and on through my twenties (late 1980s-early 90s). Drew more than a little attention, because it was unusual for a young black man to wear such a hat at the time. Hey, my dad and granddad wore them, so I wore them for awhile. More recently I've been wearing flat caps, usually black wool but sometimes patterned ones.

And of course on really cold and windy days the wool hat with the earflaps and the straps you tie under your chin. I used to groan as a kid, being made to wear one and being laughed at by the "cool kids." Now of course I realize those kids weren't cool, they were cold. :)
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Re: Fedora

Postby misterdoe » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:43 pm

Slava wrote:
William Hupy wrote:Then the feminine version of Theodore is Dorothy?

Almost, but not exactly. Theodora is from Theodore, Dorothy is a reversal of Theodora's elements.

My seventh-grade math teacher, who later became my guidance counselor in high school, was named Theodora (signed her name Teddie). And occasionally at my job I see an application filled out by a man named "Doroteo." :?
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Re: Fedora

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:58 pm

Teaching in the "Little Italy" section of the city,
I once had a boy named Doroteo in class. They
called him Dorry.
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