What’s a word we can use that is a step-back-in-time word, specifically a word spoken a hundred years ago that means adorned with trimmings, dressed up, cleaned up? A playful replacement for the folksy words “gussied up” that I love to use.
Well, didn’t I find just what I was looking for on page 23 of the book The Awakening by Kate Chopin. There she was (the word), all gussied up, just waiting to be noticed.
“The sun was low in the west, and the breeze soft and languorous that came up from the south, charged with the seductive odor of the sea. Children, freshly befurbelowed, were gathering for their games under the oaks.”
Furbelow (verb), to decorate with a flounce or ruffle. Befurbelowed is someone or something decorated with ruffles (adjective).
Let’s give this fun word a whirl:
Her mother finished furbelowing her granddaughter’s skirt just in time for the dance. The pleated borders, stitched by hand, were the talk of the town. “Did you see Carol’s befurbelowed daughter? Who made the stunning outfit she wore?”
I’m thinking this might come from something literal, back when a strip of fur was added to the bottom of a jacket. Fur below? Befurbelowed?