Word of the Day Archive
Saturday June 8, 2013
trousseau \TROO-soh, troo-SOH\
an outfit of clothing, household linen, etc., for a bride.
…Zhang Yonghong had started to put aside half the money she normally spent on clothes for her trousseau. Although her boyfriends came and went like fleeting clouds, her trousseau grew with the passing months and years as steadily as if vows of everlasting love had been exchanged.
-- Wang Anyi, The Song of Everlasting Sorrow: A Novel of Shanghai, 2008 translation
Isn't there need of it for the dresses which they are sending to you, and for the trousseau which I am giving? And a suitable trousseau to go with the dowry of two hundred thousand francs, will cost fifteen thousand.
-- Honoré de Balzac, Mercadet: A Comedy in Three Acts, 1848
Trousseau entered English from the Old French trousse meaning "bundle." In the 1200s it was used to describe a bundle of keys, and it was not until the 1800s that it came to mean the clothes and linens of a bride.