Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Frazzled-out members of society

The word that most sums up my state of being: frazzled.

I had a sudden fit, while lying in bed last night, of wondering whether I had actually made this word up! No such thing - here is the OED...
trans. To fray, wear out, tear to rags or ribbons. lit. and fig. Also intr. Hence {sm}frazzled (-out) ppl. a.; {sm}frazzlings, ravellings.

a1825 FORBY Voc. E. Anglia, Frazle, to unravel or rend cloth. Frazlings, threads of cloth, torn or unravelled. 1872 Congress. Globe 30 May, App. 577/3 The ends of the switches were all frazzled. 1893 Amer. Missionary (N.Y.) Dec. 418 One's garments get frazzled in the grass; one's mind and body and spiritual sense sometimes become frazzled, torn to pieces, good-for-nothing. 1895 Nebraska State Jrnl. 23 June 3/1 Everyone believed that Thomas would..plant the frazzled banner of the distillers in its place. 1896 J. C. HARRIS Sister Jane 344 He's the genuine article, guaranteed not to rip in the seams or frazzle at the sleeves. 1912 J. H. MOORE Ethics & Educ. 34 Many a frazzled-out member of society owes his failure in life to no greater misdemeanour than the mere failure to make connection with his calling. 1912 J. LONDON Son of Sun viii. 285 Loose ends of rope stood out stiffly horizontal, and, when a whipping gave, the loose end frazzled and blew away. 1912 Chambers's Jrnl. Mar. 194/1 For bed a mud kang with a frazzled mat on it. 1927 J. DEVANNY Old Savage 43 His fight had left him ‘frazzled’, as he expressed it. 1960 Guardian 6 Jan. 1/7 The insistence of frazzled parents that merry~making and goodwill to men have got to stop somewhere.


  1. http://www.robertlongo.com/work/view/1118/5735

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