Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Word of the day: caparison

The word of the day is caparison:

  1. a decorative covering for a horse or for the tack or harness of a horse; trappings.
  2. rich and sumptuous clothing or equipment.
1598, "cloth spread over a saddle," also "personal dress and ornaments," from Fr. caparasson (Mod.Fr. capara├žon, from Sp. caparazon, from augmentative of M.L. caparo, the name of a type of cape worn by women, lit. "chaperon" (see chaperon). Pp. adj. caparisoned is attested from 1600, from a verb caparison (1594).

"'Where was the coach, in the name of gracious?' asked my sister.
"'In Miss Havisham's room.'  They stared again.  'But there weren't any horses to it.'  I added this saving clause, in the moment of rejecting four richly caparisoned coursers which I had had wild thoughts of harnessing."

 - Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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