American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A coarse, woven fabric of wool and cotton or of wool and linen.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A coarse and stout material of which the warp is linen and the woof woolen.
- n. A similar material into which cotton enters either with or without linen. The attempt has been made to reserve the word linsey for a mixture of linen and wool and woolsey for a mixture of cotton and wool. The compound term would then signify a stuff made of all three materials in certain proportions.
- n. Inferior fabrics of doubtful or uncertain materials: a term of depreciation.
- n. Anything unsuitably mixed; a farrago of nonsense; jargon; gibberish.
- Made of linen and wool mixed.
- Of different and unsuitable parts; neither one thing nor another; ill-assorted.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Cloth made of linen and wool, mixed.
- n. obsolete Jargon.
- adj. Made of linen and wool; hence, of different and unsuitable parts; mean.
- n. a rough fabric of linen warp and wool or cotton woof
- Diminutive of linen and wool. See -y, -ey. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English linsiwolsie : alteration of linen, linen; see linen + wolle, wool; see wool. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“By “Indian dress” he meant costume common to whites as well as Indians in the west: moccasins, leggings, breechclout, and a hunting shirt, a knee-length smock of linen, wool, or linsey-woolsey, drab and durable.”
“Other textiles boast names utterly mysterious to us, opening up a lost world of camblet and fustian, susy and cherryderry, calimanco and linsey-woolsey.”
“*Some old timers add linsey-woolsey or cotton britches winter as the last one, meaning the day you can stop wearing the long underwear.”
“I had put on my linsey-woolsey dress, as the roads might at times be dusty and the few articles I needed made only a small bundle.”
“She hid the papers for General Washington under the bodice of her linsey-woolsey dress, and fastened her neckerchief over the bodice.”
“The lady-mother still distributeth tracts, and knitteth Berlin linsey-woolsey.”
“May be, an old silk gown, and a linsey-woolsey petticoat, and the like.”
“Last and chief, while literature, gagged with linsey-woolsey, can only deal with a fraction of the life of man, talk goes fancy free and may call a spade a spade.”
“SIR, — Yours received, and am surprized you should use me in this manner, as have never seen any of your cash, unless for one linsey-woolsey coat, and your bill now is upwards of L150.”
“But what linsey-woolsey hast thou to speak to us again?”
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