Word + Quiz: frippery

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Word + Quiz: frippery

: something of little value or significance

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The word frippery has appeared in nine articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on June 7 in “When Dickens Died, America Mourned. Our Archives Tell the Story” by Tina Jordan:

After his death, Dickens’s body had been sent to London on a special train and taken directly to Westminster Abbey. As the paper’s correspondent pointed out, this was emphatically not what he would have wanted: “No man has written a more pointed condemnation of the hideous pomposities of an English funeral than Mr. Dickens. He also declared with great energy that they should never put him in Westminster Abbey. … He would have preferred to lie with so many he loved best in the Kensal Green Cemetery.”

In keeping with at least some of the novelist’s final wishes (he asked “that those who attend my funeral wear no scarf, cloak, black bow, long hat-band, or other such revolting absurdity”), at Westminster Abbey there were “no cloaks, no weepers, no bands, no scarves, no feathers — none of the dismal frippery of the undertaker.”

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