This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 6 July 2018

Word To Use Today: mousseline.

There can't be many more seductive words in the English language than mousseline (you say the last syllable LEEN, by the way).

Try whispering mousseline de soie, [you say that d swa] or mousseline de laine [d lenn] to your loved one (that's silk mousseline and woollen mousseline, respectively) and you'll conjure up (at least to someone who doesn't speak French) echoes of the willow leaves whispering below you on a warm evening on the terrace of some glorious hotel.

Well, it might be worth a try, anyway...

Mousseline, when turned into English, gradually morphed into the much less glamorous word muslin, but mousseline is still used to mean the sort of very fine fabric you wouldn't dream of using for draining cheese.

File:1950 Jean Dessès evening dress in blue silk mousseline.jpg
1950 silk mousseline dress by Jean Desses, photo by Πελοποννησιακό Λαογραφικό Ίδρυμα

Mousseline is also a type of thin blown glass used to make fine wine glasses.

Lastly, but most commonly, there is mousseline sauce, which is (WARNING: even the following description might adversely affect those with heart problems) hollandaise sauce with whipped cream folded into it.

Wearing a dress of mousseline while eating salmon mousseline and drinking from a glass of mousseline?

That really can't be very far from heaven.

Even, I should imagine, for a bloke.

Wor To Use Today: mousseline. This word is the French for muslin, and comes from the Italian mussolina, from the mawşilly, which means of Mosul, where the fabric was first produced.

Weep, oh weep, for a world where Mosul was famous for its fine fabric!

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