folderol

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See also: fol-de-rol and fol de rol

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Originally a nonsense refrain in several old songs, used to make the song longer without adding more meaningful matter.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

folderol (countable and uncountable, plural folderols)

  1. (uncountable) Nonsense or foolishness.
    • 1992, Donald L. Hoffman, Mark's Merlin: Magic vs. Technology in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Sally K. Slocum (editor), Popular Arthurian Traditions, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, page 52,
      In this confrontation with the magic of science and the magic of folderol, it is almost impossible not to side with the magic of folderol, and the silly, but relatively benign, Merlin.
    • 2009, Todd Farley, Making the Grades: My Misadventures in the Standardized Testing Industry, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, page 48,
      “To say the essay has 'development of ideas' is absolute folderol.”
      “I beg your pardon?” Maria asked.
      “Folly,” he explained pedantically. “Poppycock. Gibberish.”
      “I know what folderol means,” Maria said. “I just think you better watch what you say.”
  2. (countable) A decorative object of little value; a trifle or gewgaw.
    • 1922, Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt, B. Tauchnitz, page 215,
      And they made a mistake there: the prizes were a lot of folderols and doodads like poetry books and illustrated Testaments, instead of something a real live kid would want to work for, like real cash or a speedometer for his motor cycle.
    • 2000, Linda Shertzer, Cassie's Fortune, Jove Books, page 32,
      He didn't share Miss Flora's penchant for collecting gaudy, useless knickknacks, and wouldn't have bought any of those foolish, foreign fandangles and folderols if he did have the money to waste.
    • 2008, G. K. Sutton, The Witherspoon Legacy, Xlibris, page 86,
      “I notice you're not keen on folderols.”
      Folderols?” Amanda echoed uncomprehendingly.
      “My grandmother's term for decorative items, pictures, knick-knacks,” Connor's hand swept the room.

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