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  1. #11
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    I'd always assumed it was a euphemistic alternative to 'hag'. As you say, the association with 'bag lady' is quite recent. (And for students, there really are bags involved in that. A bag lady carries all her belongings in carrier bags'.

    Another possibility is that it's an abbreviation of 'baggage' (a contemptuous reference to a worthless woman). In My Fair Lady (the first experience I had of it - I'm sure it was in use before that) Professor Higgins, after Eliza has run off with Freddy, muses 'Should I take her back, or throw the baggage out?'

    b

  2. #12
    probus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    Old bag has also been used in Canadian English all my life, and I suspect generally in AmE as well.

  3. #13
    karkog is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I guess it's because old bags have creases like wrinkles. It's been used in BrE all my life, while bag lady ​is more recent.
    So, you think that it is connected somehow to bag (as a type of 'clothing') ?

  4. #14
    karkog is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    I've already analyzed these words:
    white-collar, blue-collar and others

    uniform - policeman

    cop - policeman

    suit - bussinesman

    skirt - woman

    stuffed shirt - empty person

    empty suit - similar

    hoodie - young criminal

    metonimies connected with footbal teams and their kits 'the blues, the reds'


    I think that bag lady is OK to analyze but are shopping bags any type of clothing ? It is the distinguishing atribute of such people but im not sure if I can trat it like a piece of clothing

  5. #15
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    Quote Originally Posted by karkog View Post
    So, you think that it is connected somehow to bag (as a type of 'clothing') ?
    I don't think Tdol meant that. 'Bags' are a kind of trouser - the most common sort is 'Oxford bags', but there may be other sorts. I imagine Tdol was talking about paper/plastic/carrier bags.

    b

  6. #16
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    Quote Originally Posted by karkog View Post
    ...
    cop - policeman...
    Where's the clothing there? This suggests there's a simple association with the slang verb cop, which may be related, among many other words, to the German kaufen - an interesting derivation, involving Grimm's Law (cp. 'father'/pater with kaufen/'cop'); but nothing to do with clothes.

    b

  7. #17
    karkog is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Where's the clothing there? This suggests there's a simple association with the slang verb cop, which may be related, among many other words, to the German kaufen - an interesting derivation, involving Grimm's Law (cp. 'father'/pater with kaufen/'cop'); but nothing to do with clothes.

    b
    I know about it, but there is also common association with copper, and copper helmets badges. I know the most propbable etymology of cop you gave but I've decided to mention that...

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    1) We say that things are "tailored" or "tailor-made" just for someone. "This medical plan was tailor-made for Bob."
    2) If someone "buttons up", that means he stopped talking. (He "buttoned up" his mouth)
    3) On the same note, you could tell somebody to "zip it", which means the same thing as "shut up".

  9. #19
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    Quote Originally Posted by karkog View Post
    I know about it, but there is also common association with copper, and copper helmets badges.
    Whatever gave you that idea?
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  10. #20
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    I fear this 'common association' may be a euphemism for that infinity of typing monkeys commonly known as 'the Internet'.

    b

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