This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 2 December 2013

Spot the frippet: postiche.

You can see examples of postiche on buildings:

File:Stone Clad House Greater Manchester.jpg
Photo by Nigel Chadwick

 and on human beings, and...well, now I come to think about it, pretty much everywhere the hand of man has set foot.

Postiche means false or sham or pretend. It can be applied to silly decorations stuck onto buildings, and it can, thrillingly, be another name for hairpiece, though not usually a toupee but a bit of false hair worn by women to make their own hair look thicker or longer or fuller.

If you have trouble spotting a hairpiece (though I must say the modern penchant for making the false hair blue or scarlet makes this easier than it used to be) then anything imitation or counterfeit is postiche.

Those faux leather shoes, that brass Rolex watch, that necklace dripping with...well, glass, probably: all postiche.

That certificate for the doctorate in tattoo artistry? Almost certainly postiche.

Those Versace underpants in the Pound Shop? That Manchester United Shirt with RUNY on the back? That oxtail from the market stall with the metre-long hairs still attached? Postiche.

Ah well. It may be postiche, but we'll still save ourselves a fortune, won't we. Unless we go for the stone-cladding, obviously.

Spot the frippet: postiche. This word comes from the Italian apposticcio, from the Latin appōnō, put in place.

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