Sunday, September 07, 2008

Selective Maughamisms

A couple of strange ones from the Maugham short story ‘the Human Element’:

He wore a dinner jacket and a boiled shirt – I think of boiled lollies, which had stripes through them, but no. Here’s a pretty comprehensive description. Shirts that needed to be kept white before washing machines were often boiled in starch, which made them very stiff and no doubt none too comfy. Anyway, sounds as if this one isn’t too strange, and I was surprised that Sarah, my usual consultant on such matter, hadn’t heard of them.

A couple of footmen in the fustanellas of their country – the country being Greece or the Greek island of Rhodes. A fustanella, or foustanelle, is described as a white kilt worn by Greek and Albanian men. Wikipedia has a much more complex description of it history and usage here.



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