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May 02, 2008


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Re your homage, I blogged about this a while ago: http://www.yankeepotroast.org/archives/2007/06/raymond_carver.html
It's perfect.

What do you think Hadley Freeman (no relation!) means by "trussed-up" in the first quoted line, where she calls "homage" a "conveniently trussed-up term"? I just looked through the OED and couldn't see a sense that fits; is this now fashionspeak for "fancy"?

@Jan: Hadley Freeman uses a number of terms unfamiliar to me that I assume are examples of BrE. ("Po-faced" is one.) I took "trussed-up" here to mean "artificial" or "forced," the way a turkey would be trussed up after being stuffed. But I could be wrong.

On further consideration, I think I see what's going on here. "Truss up" can apply to garments that "confine or enclose" (OED), or "bind or tie up." "Hence contemptuously in reference to dress," the OED goes on. (Why the "hence"? Why contemptuously? Who knows?)

Hadley Freeman's "trussed up" seems to be taking the original "laced up like a turkey" as if it meant "dressed up" or "tarted up" -- disguised in a deceptive way. Found a few more cites in this vein on Nexis.

Here are some of the OED's examples:
1610 G. FLETCHER Christ's Vict. I. lxv, Now she would sighing sit,..in sack cloth trust. 1712 BUDGELL Spect. No. 277 7 How ridiculously..we have all been trussed up.., and how infinitely the French Dress excels ours. 1736 AINSWORTH Lat. Dict. (1783) I, To truss up the hair of one's head, caesariem, vel comam, in nodum colligere. 1833 J. HOLLAND Manuf. Metal II. 32 The combs used by the lower class of females for trussing their hair.

Thank you, Jan! Impressive research!

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