Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Word of the day: fustian

The word of the day is fustian:

  1. a stout fabric of cotton and flax.
  2. a fabric of stout twilled cotton or of cotton and low-quality wool, with a short nap or pile.
  3. inflated or turgid language in writing or speaking
"thick cotton cloth," c.1200, from O.Fr. fustaigne, from M.L. fustaneum, probably from L. fustis "staff, stick of wood," probably a loan-translation of Gk. xylina lina "linens of wood" (i.e. "cotton"), but the M.L. word is also derived from Fostat, town near Cairo where this cloth was manufactured. Figurative sense of "pompous, inflated language" first recorded c.1590. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fustian)

"As the Carrancistas drove into the Zapatista capital, it seemed that the local revolution had failed completely, that the villagers' efforts to carry out their own changes had been a profound mistake and that only on dictation from Mexico City could reform occur and last in Morelos.  If so, the idea of a popular revolution was a delusion.  If so, the Plan de Ayala was mere rural fustian, and Zapata not an insightful leader but simply a brave and angry clod."

 - John Womack, Zapata and the American Revolution

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