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


Alternative forms[edit]


Originally a nonsense refrain in songs, since circa 1701, as "fal, al, deral!", and 1820, used to make the song longer without adding more meaningful content (see non-lexical vocables in music). Compare falleri, fallera, extended as falleralla or fallerallera, in Swedish and German songs.



folderol (countable and uncountable, plural folderols)

  1. (uncountable) Nonsense or foolishness.
    • 1978, Page Smith, The Constitution: A Documentary and Narrative History, Morrow Quill Paperbacks (1980), page 303:
      William Maclay, a Pennsylvania Democrat and a senator, was a watchdog against the development of any monarchial folderol gathering about the office of the president.
    • 1985, John Fante, The Road to Los Angeles:
      [The librarian] rang the bell at nine. I hurried over to Philosophy and grabbed anything. It was another Nietzsche: Man and Superman. I knew that would get her. Before stamping it, she flipped a few pages.
      "My!" she said. "What books you read!"
      I said, "Haw. That's nothing. I never read folderol."
      She smiled good night.
    • 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, New York, N.Y.: Harcourt, Brace and Company, OCLC 844076792, 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.


See also[edit]