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Corduroy

A corded fabric, originally made of silk, and worn by the kings of France in the chase. (French, cord du roy.)

Corduroy Road.
A term applied to roads in the backwoods and swampy districts of the United States of America, formed of the halves of trees sawn in two longitudinally, and laid transversely across the track. A road thus made presents a ribbed appearance, like the cloth called corduroy.

Look well to your seat, 'tis like taking an airing
On a corduroy road, and that out of repairing.

Lowell: Fable for Critics, stanza 2.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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