purfle

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French porfiler, from Latin pro- + filum (thread).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

purfle (plural purfles)

  1. An ornamental border on clothing, furniture or a violin; beading, stringing.
    • 1485, Syr Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Bk.I, Ch.xxvij:
      the messager came for kyng Arthurs berd / For kyng Ryons had purfyled a mantel with kynges berdes / [] / wherfor he sente for his berd or els he wold entre in to his landes / [] / & neuer leue tyl he haue the hede and the berd / wel sayd Arthur thow hast said thy message / the whiche is the most vylaynous and lewdest message that euer man herd sente vnto a kynge / Also thow mayst see / my berd is ful yong yet to make a purfyl of hit

Verb[edit]

purfle (third-person singular simple present purfles, present participle purfling, simple past and past participle purfled)

  1. (transitive, archaic) To decorate (wood, cloth etc.) with a purfle or ornamental border; to border.
    • 1485, Syr Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Bk.I, Ch.xxvij:
      And this was his message gretynge wel kynge Arthur in this manere wyse sayenge / that kynge Ryons had discomfyte and ouercome xj kynges / [] / they gaf hym their berdys clene flayne [] / wher for the messager came for kyng Arthurs berd / For kyng Ryons had purfyled a mantel with kynges berdes / and there lacked one place of the mantel
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene:
      Purfled with gold of rich assay.
    • 1885, Sir Richard Burton, The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad in The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, vol. 1:
      It came to pass on a certain day, as he stood about the street leaning idly upon his crate, behold, there stood before him an honourable woman in a mantilla of Mosul silk, broidered with gold and bordered with brocade; her walking shoes were also purfled with gold and her hair floated in long plaits.
    • 2003, Tom Robbins, Villa Incognito,
      Remembering the exchange now, Dickie smiled that winning southern-boy smile. Then he went glum again. He thumped the purfled sound board.
  2. (heraldry, transitive) To ornament with a bordure of ermines, furs, etc. or with gold studs or mountings.

Translations[edit]

Related terms[edit]