Foppery is a pejorative term describing a foolish man overly concerned with his appearance and clothes in 17th century England. Some of the very many similar alternative terms are: "coxcomb", fribble, "popinjay" (meaning "parrot"), fashion-monger, and "ninny". "Macaroni" was another term, of the 18th century, more specifically concerned with fashion. A modern-day fop may also be a reference to a foolish person who is overly concerned about his clothing and incapable of engaging in intellectual conversations, activities or thoughts.
- 'Tis mean for empty praise of wit to write,
As fopplings grin to snow their teeth are white.
- I marched the lobby, twirled my stick,
* * * * *
The girls all cried, "He's quite the kick."
- Of all the fools that pride can boast,
A Coxcomb claims distinction most.
- John Gay, Fables (1727), Part II. Fable 5.
- A beau is one who arranges his curled locks gracefully, who ever smells of balm, and cinnamon; who hums the songs of the Nile, and Cadiz; who throws his sleek arms into various attitudes; who idles away the whole day among the chairs of the ladies, and is ever whispering into some one's ear; who reads little billets-doux from this quarter and that, and writes them in return; who avoids ruffling his dress by contact with his neighbour's sleeve, who knows with whom everybody is in love; who flutters from feast to feast, who can recount exactly the pedigree of Hirpinus. What do you tell me? is this a beau, Cotilus? Then a beau, Cotilus, is a very trifling thing.
- Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book III, Epigram 6.
- Nature made every fop to plague his brother,
Just as one beauty mortifies another.
- A lofty cane, a sword with silver hilt,
A ring, two watches, and a snuff box gilt.
- Recipe "To Make a Modern Fop" (c. 1770). Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 286-87.
- This is the excellent foppery of the world.
- A fop? In this brave, licentious age
To bring his musty morals on the stage?
Rhime us to reason? and our lives redress
In metre, as Druids did the savages.
- Sir Samuel Tuke, The Adventures of Five Hours (1663), Act V.
- Has death his fopperies?
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night II, line 231.