One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An unattractive woman who wears dowdy old-fashioned clothes.
- ‘Or we turn on the TV and find Maury or Sally busily making over some woman who looks too much like a frump or a tramp.’
- ‘‘Lastly,’ she adds, ‘it doesn't matter how good your face looks, if you still dress like a frump you will still look old.’
- ‘It's as if she can't make up her mind whether she wants to be a siren, a vamp or a frump.’
- ‘She questioned angrily, ‘Who is he calling a frump?’’
- ‘She dresses like a frump, and that is the bottom line.’
- ‘But if I did not notice the adverts through my selective conditioning, I was presented with shiny happy photographs of the stars looking at their best to remind me that I am indeed a frump.’
- ‘I'd like to wear something trendy, so I don't feel like a taffeta meringue-wearing frump.’
- ‘The First Lady started out as the frizzle-haired frump in glasses, and gradually, almost imperceptibly, graduated to the pages of American Vogue and Vanity Fair.’
- ‘Realize that the same outfit that looks powerful, pulled together, and fresh on someone under 25 makes a woman more mature look like a frump.’
- ‘I'd gone from an organized woman of smooth purpose to a frenzied frump bearing a strange resemblance to a headless chicken.’
- ‘The caring mother and understanding wife became a frazzled frump.’
- ‘But you can't, because you'll never be anything but a common frump whose father lived over a grocery store and whose mother took in washing…’
- ‘Ms. Greer jumped into the movie scene as the frump turned vixen in the otherwise unmemorable Jawbreaker in 1999.’
- ‘So, she had to do with her navy business suit, making her look like an old frump.’
- ‘I hope this doesn't sound like boasting, but as soon as all the frumps saw my get-up, they bowed to my superior hideousness.’
- ‘We need you to defend us against the barbs from these jealous frumps, and their unhappy husbands.’
- ‘The anti-music, anti-nightlife frumps in Seattle have started an email campaign in support of the new Ordinance.’
- ‘Okay, for all of you Hot Mamas who are masquerading as frumps, go to this website and play the song dedicated to you.’
- ‘And, if you think that once you become a mom, you suddenly turn into a frump, you are in for one very dull ride.’
- ‘But she also comes across as a humourless frump, needing constant cajoling from her husband to stay afloat.’
Mid 16th century: probably a contraction of late Middle English frumple ‘wrinkle’, from Middle Dutch verrompelen. The word originally denoted a mocking speech or action; later (in the plural) ill humour, the sulks; hence a bad-tempered, (later) dowdy woman (early 19th century).
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