Saturday, 8 December 2012

Entry: paraphernalia (n.)

In context:  "...toting paraphernalia for performing cultish ritual referred to in oblique tones only as Propitiating The Infant..."

Originally: items belonging to a particular person, esp. articles of dress or adornment; trappings, bits and pieces, accoutrements. Subsequently: the miscellaneous items needed for or associated with a particular activity. (In quot. 1731 at sense 2a(a): poetic ornaments.)


Law. With pl. concord. Articles of personal property, esp. clothing and ornaments, which (exceptionally at common law) did not automatically transfer from the property of the wife to the husband by virtue of the marriage. Now hist.

but also:

The items associated with drug-taking and drug-dealing.

and interestingly:

In pl. In South-east Asia and the Philippines, the pieces of equipment or products associated with or necessary for an activity.

Other: Etymology:  < post-classical Latin paraphernalia married woman's property (c1270, 14th cent. in British sources; frequently from 14th cent. in continental sources; also as parafernalia ), use as noun (short for paraphernalia bona ) of neuter plural of paraphernalis paraphernal adj. Compare earlier paraphernal n., paraphonalion n.

SNOOT score: 2

Page: 5

Source: Oxford English Dictionary

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