Pronounced: RUH-me, adj/noun

Notes: This was a marginal case: this word has multiple meanings and origins (as has been the case lately); I knew two of the three, but the third one I did not know. One of the meanings has a tie-in to a well-known movie.

Yesterday’s word

The word chinoiserie is “a style in art (as in decoration) reflecting Chinese qualities or motifs; also an object or decoration in this style.

Background / Comments

I should have noticed China in the beginning of the word, but so many English words use “sino-” for Chinese things that I never thought about it. This word came straight to English from French: the French word chinois means “Chinese”. The first major example of chinoiserie was a pleasure house build for the mistress of King Louis XIV in 1670. It was called the Trianon de Procelaine and was erected at Versailles. Our word outlasted the structure, which was destroyed 17 years later. The 1930s saw a brief revival of chinoiserie.

First usage

The word is from the late 1600s.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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