today's words: sybarite, frippery.
And I thought I had a monastic life — but apparently I am a sybarite, with an actual bed, a couple of (not-often-used) sofas with candles on a table, indirect lighting, all that frippery. ☺ but even with that getting to sleep is still a trial. If I had nothing but a blanket on the floor I'd never manage it at all.
online chat from Nick Alcock
what's a sybarite?
A Sybarite was a native of Sybaris, an ancient Greek city in southern Italy. Sybarites were stereotyped as seekers of pleasure and luxury, and the word now connotes such sensualism.
where is Sybaris?
Sybaris was an ancient Greek city on the western shore of the Gulf of Taranto in Bruttium, an ancient region of Italy. The wealth of the city during the 6th century BC was so great that the Sybarites became synonymous with pleasure and luxury. The modern town of Sibari lies near the ruins of the Greek city.
Google map to it. Google Map
here's a funny passage:
In English, the words “sybarite” and “sybaritic” have become bywords for opulent luxury and outrageous pleasure seeking. One story, mentioned in Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), has a Sybarite sleeping on a bed of rose petals, but unable to get to sleep because one of the petals was folded over. The best known humorous anecdote of the Sybarites concerns their defeat in battle. Atheneaus relates that to amuse themselves the Sybarite cavalrymen trained their horses to dance to pipe music. Armed with pipes, an invading army from nearby Croton assailed the Sybarite cavalry with music. The attacking forces easily passed through the dancing horses and their helpless riders, and conquered the city.
also of interest: Sybarite (fashion doll)
now, we've had it with sibarite. What's with frippery?
frippery «1560s, “old clothes, cast-off garments,” from Middle French friperie “old clothes, an old clothes shop,” from Old French freperie, feuperie “old rags, rubbish” (13c.), from frepe, feupe “fringe; rags, old clothes,” from Late Latin faluppa “chip, splinter, straw, fiber.” The notion is of “things worn down, clothes rubbed to rags.” The ironic meaning “finery” (but with overtones of tawdriness) dates from 1630s.»