from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A shirt made of haircloth; a cilice; especially one worn by ascetics or the penitent
  • adj. Advocating or adopting a relatively ascetic lifestyle, especially for environmentalist reasons.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

hair +‎ shirt


  • I would call a kind of hairshirt need, a-- a need to kind of punish himself in -- in living in very, very difficult ways.

    Orwell: Wintry Conscience of a Generation

  • Amidst a general acceptance of the cash crisis afflicting the ICA as an accident of the recession, and a rush into headlong 'hairshirt' institutional self-critique as a means to deflect real scrutiny, JJ Charlesworth uncovers a catalogue of avoidable mistakes and the free-market, lifestyle thinking behind them

    Mute magazine - Culture and politics after the net - CULTURE AND POLITICS AFTER THE NET

  • That doesn't mean "hairshirt" environmentalism, where the goal is for neo-puritans to denounce people for immorality and trumpet their own superiority.


  • 'hairshirt' FF budgets, this has come after a time of plenty and during a period where peoples expectations - rightly - have increased.

    Slugger O'Toole

  • It wasn't a case of top of the page placements or any of that stuff – just of knowing where to look when a newspaper's slip began showing: the prominence of the predictable hairshirt.

    Daily Mail's hidden message

  • So you can imagine why I donned my hairshirt and "The End Is Nigh" sandwich board when the Yankees' season came down to a certain Mr. Allan James Burnett, aka A.J., aka the worst pitcher in the history of the sport, according to more volatile Yankees enthusiasts.

    Tony Sachs: You're Welcome, New York: How My Reverse Juju Helped The Yankees Win Game 4

  • "This year is a bit of a hairshirt year and not one in which we felt we could offer the Order of Merit," said Rod Street, the chief executive of REL.

    Lack of funds brings an end to jump racing's Order of Merit

  • A meeting of European socialists in Athens recently put together a distinctly Keynesian-looking alternative to the austerity hairshirt forced on ailing southern eurozone economies by Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy.

    New Europe: Mapping a continent | Editorial

  • Even though I would prefer wearing a hairshirt to reading one of his columns, I consider him a must read.

    Matthew Yglesias » Endgame

  • You want to use some hairshirt religion to tell us how to live and increase government power over our lives, everything from banning certain kinds of lightbulbs to telling us what we can drive to putting microchips in our thermostats.

    Matthew Yglesias » Endgame


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

  • a term for "guilt trip"...wearing one's hairshirt

    January 22, 2008

  • originally a garment or undergarment made of coarse cloth or animal hair (a hairshirt), worn to induce some degree of discomfort or pain usually as an act of penance or as a form of corporal mortification

    a type of cilice

    Seen also as hair shirt

    January 22, 2008