This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Spot the frippet: ruff.

Fashion can still be gloriously silly, but at least we're not wearing ruffs at the moment.

So let's stop and give thanks. I mean, just think how difficult it would be to eat soup if you had to wear one of these:

round your neck.

And just think of all the ironing, too.

There are a few of us who so still wear ruffs to work:

but they are, though glorious, few.

Unless you're a, well, ruff:

though these ruffs only wear their ruffs in the spring to chat up the ladies. In any case, this is surely more pleasure than work.

A ruff can also be a trump (as in a card game); in Australia it can be either something unfair (especially an unfair trick) or an unfancied horse that wins; and there's also a fishy ruff, Acerina cernua.

I must admit that spotting this frippet is going to be far from easy. I can really only suggest a game of cards, or else a trip to a cathedral, a nature reserve, an art gallery, or a race track.

Or you could always go Australian and play a trick on someone. Challenging someone to a race and then shouting look, superman! before running like mad would probably, well, do the trick.

Spot the Frippet: ruff. The frill comes from ruffle (there are similar words meaning to crumple and to scratch); the card term comes from the French roffle, and probably from the Italian trionfa, which means trump. The fish and the Oz meanings come from rough.

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