from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of benjamin.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • As you wish. :-)

    June 1, 2010

  • Excellent!

    Brackets around "upper benjamin," please. :-)

    June 1, 2010

  • For what it's worth, OED describes this as an "overcoat of a particular shape formerly worn by men. (Still in slang or humorous use.)"--although it defines it in the singular. Some of the examples use the phrase "upper benjamin."

    June 1, 2010

  • Why clothing? Couldn't it just be the plant?

    June 1, 2010

  • I got the book "The Pleasures of Peacock"from my public library. It is a collection of all of Thomas Love Peacock's stories. Besides benjamins, his stories are a treasure trove of archaic words that I have been unable to locate from any source. Even if his writing isn't to your liking, he will have looking things up constantly. Check him out and happy hunting.

    May 31, 2010

  • I searched for "benjamins sir telegraph peel" and got this section from "The Contemporary review, Volume 25" in Google books, but I'm not sure it'll help:

    "The heroine of " Melincourt " is Anthclia Melincourt, the heiress of Melincourt Castle and ten thousand a-year, an orphan as coy and with as many suitors as Penelope. Like Peacock's heroines, she must be won, nolens volens; and so, at the time of the story's action, a fashionable dame from town, and an elderly and allied country squire, are located at her modernized " Eagle's Nest," to receive the various suitors who may be "coming to woo." It gives a keen sense of the lapse of time since Melincourt first appeared to read of one of these, a four-in-hand man. Sir Telegraph Paxaret, " proceeding to peel" after a cold day's drive, and " emerging from his four benjamins, like a butterfly from its chrysalis." Not that Sir Telegraph is Peacock's hero, or Anthelia's hero. These are not identical, the second being a certain Silvan Forester, of Redrose Abbey, apparently a philosopher of the Escot type, who burrows for days and weeks in an old cemetery, in the hope of finding giant skulls to bolster up his theory of deterioration, yet withal a kindly philanthropist, who carries out the rales of the Anti-saccharine Society himself, but takes care that his tenants and cottagers shall be housed and fed, and let live like human beings."

    May 31, 2010

  • Peacock writes very long sentences, but here is the portion containing the word. ...Sir Telegraph proceeded to peel, and emerged from his four benjamins, like a butterfly from its chrysalis.

    May 31, 2010

  • Fantastic — I'd love to see the citation. The sense I'm familiar with is "all about the benjamins", as in, $100 bills, on which Benjamin Franklin appears. Which is probably post-1817.

    A Google define: search falls down pretty hard on this one.

    May 31, 2010

  • I have a citation from Melincourt written in 1817 by Thomas Love Peacock in which benjamins appear to be a form of clothing. I can find no cases of this word used this way anywhere else.

    May 30, 2010