[Ads-l] "mutton" as in " mutton dressed as lamb", attributive

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Sun Oct 23 15:54:58 EDT 2016


GDoS carries it back to 1785, where it appears in the first edition of Captain
Francis Grose's _Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue_:

mutton dressed as lamb (n.) (also mutton done up as lamb, ...dressed up like
lamb, old ewe dressed as lamb, old ewe dressed lamb fashion, sheep
masquerading...)
1. a woman who dresses younger than her years.
1785, 1788, 1796 [UK] Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Ewe,
[...] an old ewe drest lamb fashion, an old woman, drest like a girl.

Robin

> 
>     On 23 October 2016 at 20:40 Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
> 
> 
>     The New York Times, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, "Sunday Review," 11/1, "Don't
> Dress Your Age," by Julia Baird.
> 
>     These uses are OED "mutton, n.," P2: "an ageing [sic] woman who is dressed
> or made up as if much younger."  OED3 dates this from 1811, but does not add
> that this is in a journal whose author attributes the saying to the future
> George IV.
> 
>     "This is mutton shaming, ladies, and it has to stop."  [The Telegraph
> advising older women to smile more.]
> 
>     ""A stylist in Harper's Bazaar advise that mutton-ladies may still reveal
> morsels of skin ... ."
> 
>     "But my greatest mutton-fantasy is just to wear and do what I want."
> 
>     Joel
> 
> 
> 
> 
>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>     The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> 

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