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Calf-skin

Fools and jesters used to wear a calf-skin coat buttoned down the back. In allusion to this custom, Faulconbridge says insolently to the Archduke of Austria, who had acted most basely to Richard Coeur-de-Lion-

Thou wear a lion's hide! Doff it, for shame,
And hang a calf-skin on those recreant limbs.

Shakespeare: King John, iii. 1.

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