Frippery meaning

frĭpə-rē
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Pretentious, showy finery.
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Pretentious elegance; ostentation.
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Something trivial or nonessential.
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Cheap, gaudy clothes; tawdry finery.
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Showy display in dress, manners, speech, etc.; affectation of elegance.
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Ostentation, as in fancy clothing.
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Useless things; trifles.

1892 Frederick Law Olmsted, "Report by F.L.O.", April 1892. Quoted in 2003, Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, Random House, ISBN 0609608444, page 170.

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Hence: secondhand finery; cheap and tawdry decoration; affected elegance.
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Origin of frippery

  • French friperie from Old French freperie old clothes from felpe, frepe from Medieval Latin faluppa worthless material of unknown origin

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From French friperie. From Old French fripier (“to rub up and down, to wear into rags”). Compare fripper.

    From Wiktionary