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Puff

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Exaggerated praise. The most popular etymology of this word is pouff, a coiffure employed by the ladies of France in the reign of the Grand Monarque to announce events of interest, or render persons patronised by them popular. Thus, Madame dʹEgmont, Duke of Richelieu’s daughter, wore on her head a little diamond fortress, with moving sentinels, after her father had taken Port Mahon; and the Duchess of Orleans wore a little nursery, with cradle, baby, and toys complete, after the birth of her son and heir. These, no doubt, were pouffs and puffs, but Lord Bacon uses the word puff a century before the head-gear was brought into fashion. Two other etymons present themselves: the old pictures of Fame puffing forth the praises of some hero with her trumpet; and the puffing out of slain beasts and birds in order to make them look plumper and better for food—a plan universally adopted in the abattoirs of Paris. (German, puffen, to brag or make a noise; and French, pouf, our puff.)

Puff, in The Critic, by Sheridan. An impudent literary quack.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Ptolemaic System
Public
Public-house Signs
Publicans of the New Testament
Pucelle (La)
Puck or Robin Goodfellow
Pucka
Pudding
Pudding-time
Pudens
Puff
Puff-ball
Puffed Up
Pug
Pugna Porcorum (Battle of the Pigs)
Puisne Judges
Pukwana (North American Indian)
Pull
Pull Bacon (To)
Pull Devil, Pull Baker
Pulling