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    #1

    en zanier

    Can anyone please give me the meaning of "en zanier" in The Loves Of Alonzo Fitz Clarence And Rosannah Ethelton.
    I tried all the dictionaries at hand without any avail. I even tried the comparative form of the word zany, but it makes no sense. I suspect it might be French or German, but I am not sure that it is not added to the english vocabulary.
    Any help is appreciated, and thank you in advance.


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    #2

    Re: en zanier

    Rather than trawl through the entire text to find this phrase, please give the paragraph in which it appears. It does not look English.

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    #3

    Re: en zanier

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Rather than trawl through the entire text to find this phrase, please give the paragraph in which it appears. It does not look English.
    Dear Anglika, here is the paragraph:

    Her dress and adornment were marked by that exquisite harmony that can come only of a fine natural taste perfected by culture. Her gown was of a simple magenta tulle, cut bias, traversed by three rows of light-blue flounces, with the selvage edges turned up with ashes-of-roses chenille; overdress of dark bay tarlatan with scarlet satin lambrequins; corn-colored polonaise, en zanier, looped with mother-of-pearl buttons and silver cord, and hauled aft and made fast by buff velvet lashings; basque of lavender reps, picked out with valenciennes; low neck, short sleeves; maroon velvet necktie edged with delicate pink silk; inside handkerchief of some simple three-ply ingrain fabric of a soft saffron tint; coral bracelets and locket-chain; coiffure of forget-me-nots and lilies-of-the-valley massed around a noble calla.
    Just for future reference, you can always just go to EDIT, click FIND ON THIS PAGE, and type any word you want to find in the whole page.


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    #4

    Re: en zanier

    It is some form of dressmaking term describing the type of polonaise the lady is wearing. You may have a bit of a search in mid- to late-19th century fashion magazines to identify what it is exactly. Try asking the question on a site devoted to historical costume.

  1. Philly's Avatar

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    #5

    Re: en zanier

    I wonder whether it's a typo, and the word should actually be "panier" (also spelled "pannier"). That seems like a pretty good possibility to me. The location in the text also seems to be an appropriate spot to mention that sort of aspect of such a dress.

    I expect it's originally a French word, so possibly "en panier" may have been used to mean something like "in the panier style".

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    #6

    Re: en zanier

    I'm almost sure Philly is right; en panier means a basket-shaped form for an 18th century dress, of which the polonaise is a common type. En panier means "in a basket" or in its shape.


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    #7

    Talking Re: en zanier

    This word seems to have come the French language. This translates to 'in Zanier' in English and Zany refers to a clown. This may refer to the adornments like dress and other ornaments that were very colorful or motley in nature even like the colorful appearence of a clown in olden days. Hope this will help, best of luck, nanucbe

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    #8

    Re: en zanier

    Thank you for the replies.

    The problem with the basket explanation, at least to my understanding, is the word before. Doesn't cut bias mean that the lowest part of the skirt is cut in an angle? Wouldn't that contradict the basket, since it is associated in my mind with long skirts that are cut parallel to the ground.
    I am not sure if my understanding is right.
    By the way, the zanier vs. panier, though it might make sense, is a little difficult to believe, since every single version I have of the story, be it paper or electronic, have en zanier with z.

    As for zanier being the comparative form of zany, I really think it is far fetched, since it wouldn't be a comparative form in French.

    If I had to choose, I would go with the panier bit.

    Thank you again.


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    #9

    Re: en zanier

    Since this is a book by Mark Twain, it is equally possible that he just made it up as sounding slightly comic.

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    #10

    Re: en zanier

    Quote Originally Posted by karitaru View Post
    The problem with the basket explanation, at least to my understanding, is the word before. Doesn't cut bias mean that the lowest part of the skirt is cut in an angle?
    No, that is not what that means. When a garment is cut on the bias, that more or less means the pattern for the garment was placed at a 45-degree angle on the fabric and then cut. Primary reasons to cut the material for a garment on the bias would be that the finished garment hangs or lays or gathers better. The skirt in this image was cut on the bias, for example: bias cut

    In the text, the bias cut gown is mentioned. The text then goes on to mention the "overdress", and then it finally gets around to mentioning "polonaise", followed immediately by "en zanier". As far as I know, the polonaise style always had baskets (paniers) on both sides in the hip area. Perhaps Twain made an intentional "typo" here in order to suggest that the paniers were unusually large or extravagant.

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