Monday, 26 November 2012

Entry: worsted (adj.)

In context: "Lenz wears a worsted topcoat and dark slacks and Brazilian loafers with a high-wattage shine and a disguise that makes him look like Andy Warhol with a tan."

Definition: A woollen fabric or stuff made from well-twisted yarn spun of long-staple wool combed to lay the fibres parallel.

Other: For reasons not immediately clear, perhaps because of its early origin, worsted (in the sense here) has the longest list of usages I've yet seen in the OED:
1293   in Camden Misc. II. 13   Pro xj. ulnis de wrstede ad caligas faciendas.

1345–9   in Archaeologia XXXI. 78   Eidem ad vnam aulam de worstede operatum cum papagailles.

1393–4   Act 17 Rich II c. 2   Les Marchants & overours de draps appelez sengle Worstede.

c1405  (1387–95)    Chaucer Canterbury Tales Prol. (Hengwrt) (2003) l. 264   Of double worstede was his semycope.

1411   in F. J. Furnivall Fifty Earliest Eng. Wills (1882) 19   Also y be-queythe to Robert, myn heldest son, a reed bedde of worsteyd.

1459   Paston Lett. I. 478   Item, j pece of grene wurstet xxx yards longe.

1465   Paston Lett. & Papers (1904) IV. 201   A coverlyte of whyte werstede longyng therto.

1535   Wardrobe Acct. Henry VIII in Archaeologia (1789) 9 249   A dubblette of wursteede.

1548   Hall's Vnion: Henry VIII f. lxiv,   Within hys gate..dwelled dyuerse Frenchmen that kalendred Worsted, contrary to the kynges lawes.

1610   P. Holland tr. W. Camden Brit.i. 475   They obteined..that the Worsted made there [i.e. at Norwich] might be transported.

a1661   T. Fuller Worthies (1662) Norf. 247   It surpasseth my skill to name the several stuffs (being Worsted disguised with Weaving and Colouring) made thereof.

1728   Pope Dunciadii. 129   The very worstead still look'd black and blue.

a1756   E. Haywood New Present (1771) 258   Directions for cleaning of Worsted and other Sorts of Stuffs.

1886   S. W. Beck Draper's Dict. 373   Worsted, cloth of long stapled-wool, combed straightly and smoothly, as distinct from woollens, which are woven from short staple wool, crossed and roughed in spinning.

1436   in W. H. Stevenson Rec. Borough Nottingham (1883) II. 152   Unum cowle de nigro wolstede.

1551–2   Act 5 & 6 Edw. VI c. 7 §1   Any kynde of Clothe Chamlettes Wolstede Sayes [etc.].

1598   J. Stow Suruay of London 76   His guarde..all in a Liuery of Wolsted.
1481–90   Howard Househ. Bks. (Roxb.) 38   A piece wusted iij. yerdes deppe, for stremers and standartes.

1537   in J. L. Glasscock Rec. St. Michael's, Bishop's Stortford (1882) 126   Item a vestment of grene wusted wt an obe.

1589   Voy. W. Towrson in R. Hakluyt Princ. Navigationsi. 108   They shewed vs a certaine course cloth, was course wooll, and a small threed, and as thicke as wosted.

1607   R. C. tr. H. Estienne World of Wonders 235   Sleeues.., one halfe of woosted, the other of veluet.

1618  (1440)    Inventory in E. Peacock Eng. Church Furnit. (1866) 182   A vestment of Black wosted.

δ. 1350 [see sense 1].
1375   Exch. Rolls Scot. II. 505   Per empcionem de xij ulnis cum dimidio de wirset.

1436   in C. Innes Reg. Episcopatus Aberdonensis (1845) II. 148   Vnum vestimentum integrum de nigro wersed.

1483   in T. Thomson Acts Lords Auditors (1839) *112/1   A couering of Inglis worsat.

1520–1   in J. Raine Fabric Rolls York Minster (1859) 305   One vestment of blacke worsett.

1565   in Hay Fleming Reform. Scot. (1910) 610   Ane baithkyt[sic] of roich worsat, to ly under nobillis feit.

1612   Sc. Bk. Rates in Halyburton's Ledger (1867) 289   Beltis..of worsett the groce, viij li.

And if you made it this far, yes, there will be a test.

SNOOT score: 1

Page: 553

Source: Oxford English Dictionary

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