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Jan 18, 2016This week’s theme
Clothing terms used metaphorically
This week’s words
Chiefs of North Dakota National Guard and Togolese Armed Forces
Photo: North Dakota National Guard
A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
If you have ever wondered why a petticoat is called a petticoat, here’s the scoop. It is, literally, a petty coat. Or used to be. In the beginning it was an undercoat worn by men. Over time, it jumped from men to women. And then it slipped from shoulders to waist. That’s language for you. Don’t try to make sense of it.
And, whatever you do, do not look for much logic in it. Or claim that because a word meant such and such earlier, it should mean the same today.
This week we’ll discuss words related to clothing that are used metaphorically. And like petticoat, we’ll start from the top and start sliding down as the week progresses.
noun: A high-ranking official, especially from the military or police.
From the gilt insignia worn on the cap. Also see brass ring, brass collar, brassy. Earliest documented use: 1887.
“‘I don’t understand why a brass hat from the police would want to talk to me,’ I tell him. ‘I’m just a passing academic.’”
Shashi Warrier; The Girl Who Didn’t Give Up; Tranquebar Press; 2015.
See more usage examples of brass hat in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:If triangles had a God, he would have three sides. -Charles de Montesquieu, philosopher and writer (18 Jan 1689-1755)
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