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Sunday, 3 July 2011

Stuart's Daily Word Spot: Foil


Foil: noun - metal hammered or rolled into a thin sheet; also, metallized plastic film; a heraldic representation of a leaf; thin layer of any material, a paring; thin leaf of metal placed under a precious stone to increase its brilliance or under a transparent substance to give it the appearance of a precious stone; a sheet of metal foil, tin amalgam, fixed behind the glass in a mirror to act as the reflector; something or person setting off another by contrast; architecture - small arcs between cusps on a Gothic window or arch.
In literature, foils are characters who react to one another’s quirks; like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, or Jeeves and Wooster.

‘Shirley wrapped Simon’s sandwiches in aluminium foil to keep them fresh for his trek across the desert.’

‘Ernie Wise acted as a foil for Eric Morecambe’s jokes.’
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