21 June 2013

A "motley crew" dance for you

Via Boing Boing.

A good excuse to review "motley":
The word motley is described in the Oxford English Dictionary as a cognate with medley, although the unrelated mottled has also contributed to the meaning... When used as a noun, it can mean "a varied mixture." As an adjective, it is generally disparaging — a motley collection is an uninspiring pile of stuff, as in the cliche motley crew.

The word originated in England between the 14th and 17th centuries and referred to a woolen fabric of mixed colors. It was the characteristic dress of the professional fool...

[M]otley did not have to be checkered and has been recently thought to be one pattern with different colored threads running through it.
Motley is the only wear.
—Shakespeare, As You Like It, ii. 7

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