Foppery

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Foppery is a pejorative term describing a foolish man overly concerned with his appearance and clothes in 17th century England. Some of the very many similar alternative terms are: "coxcomb", fribble, "popinjay" (meaning "parrot"), fashion-monger, and "ninny". "Macaroni" was another term, of the 18th century, more specifically concerned with fashion. A modern-day fop may also be a reference to a foolish person who is overly concerned about his clothing and incapable of engaging in intellectual conversations, activities or thoughts.

Sourced[edit]

  • 'Tis mean for empty praise of wit to write,
    As fopplings grin to snow their teeth are white.
    • Tom Brown (1662–1704) Essay on Satire, Stanza 2. Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 286-87.
  • I marched the lobby, twirled my stick,
    * * * * *
    The girls all cried, "He's quite the kick."
    • George Colman the Younger (1762–1836), Broad Grins, Song, Stanza 1. Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 286-87.
  • Of all the fools that pride can boast,
    A Coxcomb claims distinction most.
    • John Gay, Fables (1727), Part II. Fable 5.
  • A beau is one who arranges his curled locks gracefully, who ever smells of balm, and cinnamon; who hums the songs of the Nile, and Cadiz; who throws his sleek arms into various attitudes; who idles away the whole day among the chairs of the ladies, and is ever whispering into some one's ear; who reads little billets-doux from this quarter and that, and writes them in return; who avoids ruffling his dress by contact with his neighbour's sleeve, who knows with whom everybody is in love; who flutters from feast to feast, who can recount exactly the pedigree of Hirpinus. What do you tell me? is this a beau, Cotilus? Then a beau, Cotilus, is a very trifling thing.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book III, Epigram 6.
  • Nature made every fop to plague his brother,
    Just as one beauty mortifies another.
    • Alexander Pope (1688–1744), Satire IV, line 258. Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 286-87.
  • A lofty cane, a sword with silver hilt,
    A ring, two watches, and a snuff box gilt.
    • Recipe "To Make a Modern Fop" (c. 1770). Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 286-87.
  • A fop? In this brave, licentious age
    To bring his musty morals on the stage?
    Rhime us to reason? and our lives redress
    In metre, as Druids did the savages.
    • Sir Samuel Tuke, The Adventures of Five Hours (1663), Act V.
  • Has death his fopperies?
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night II, line 231.

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