One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A narrow border of cloth or wood, fitted across the top of a door or window to conceal the curtain fittings.
- ‘Other areas of concern are the tops of blinds, pelmets, high windowsills and doorjambs.’
- ‘Chinoiserie chandeliers and pelmets, fretwork cornices, and ‘India’ wallpaper further ornamented the room, creating a splendid and exotic gardenlike setting.’
- ‘An archway leads through to the kitchen/dining room which has concealed pelmet lighting, white units at ground level, solid timber worktops and a stainless steel splashback.’
- ‘I've already binned the flamboyant curtain pelmets from two rooms and can't wait to get my hands on the oversized brown smoke-glass lamp shade with twiddly gold bits.’
- ‘Once inside we had the opportunity to gaze out onto the reef past a thick pelmet of black gorgonians and a window box of orange elephant ear sponges.’
- 1.1British informal A very short skirt.
- ‘Because there were, on the platform, waiting for the first train possible, at least 600 girls wearing bikinis and fanny pelmets.’
- ‘They are getting shorter and shorter these days, almost like pelmets.’
- ‘Don't succumb to strange unsightly trends because some over-hyped it-girl is wearing a pelmet skirt.’
- ‘We are not trying to appeal to a 20-year-old, and I don't know a woman over 30 who wears a see-through blouse and pelmet skirt.’
- ‘Above them is a wide expanse of thigh, a pelmet of a skirt and frosted face makeup that looks like pancake for the stage.’
Early 20th century: probably an alteration of French palmette, literally ‘small palm’ (see palmette).
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