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Coat

Cut your coat according to your cloth. Curtail your expenses to the amount of your income; live within your means. Si non possis quod velis, velis id quod possis.

Near is my coat, but nearer is my skin. “Tunica pallío propior est.” “Ego proximus mihi.” To baste one's coat. To dust his jacket; to beat him.

To wear the king's coat.
To be a soldier. Turning one's coat for luck. It was an ancient superstition that this was a charm against evil spirits. (See Turncoat)

William found
A means for our deliverance: `Turn your cloaks,
Quoth hee, `for Pucke is busy in these oakes.'

Bishop Corbett: Iter Boreale

Coat of Arms
A surcoat worn by knights over their armour, decorated with devices by which heralds described the wearer. Hence the heraldic device of a family. Coat-armour was invented in the Crusading expeditions, to distinguish the various noble warriors when wrapped in complete steel, and it was introduced into England by Richard Lion-heart.

Coat of many Colours
(Gen. xxxvii. 3). Harmer, in his Observations (vol. ii. p. 386), informs us that “many colours” in this connection does not mean striped, flowered embroidered, or “printed” with several colours, but having “divers pieces of different colours sewed together” in patchwork. The Hebrew word is passeem. In 2 Sam. xiii. 18 we are told that king's daughters wore a garment of many colours or divers pieces. Dr. Adam Clarke says that similar garments “are worn by persons of distinction in Persia, India, and some parts of China to the present day.” The great offence was this: Jacob was a sheik, and by giving Joseph a “prince's robe” he virtually announced him his heir. (See Divers Colours)

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