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Dicky (A)

,

in George III.’s time, meant a flannel petticoat. It was afterwards applied to what were called false shirts—i.e. a shirt front worn over a dirty shirt, or in lieu of a shirt. These half-shirts were first called Tommies.        

“A hundred instances I soon could pick ye—

Without a cap we view the fair,

The bosom heaving alto bare,

The hips ashamed, forsooth, to wear a dicky.”

1


Peter Pindar: Lord Auckland’s Triumph.

So again:—        

“And sister Peg, and sister Joan,

With scarce a flannel dicky on … .”

2


Middlesex Election, letter iv.


(Hair, whalebone, or metal vestments, called dress-improvers, are hung on women’s backs, as a “dicky” is hung on a coach behind.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Diaper
Diavolo (Fra)
Dibs or Dibbs
Dicers Oaths
Dicilla (in Orlando Furioso)
Dick
Dick’s Hatband
Dick = Richard
Dickens
Dickey or Dicky
Dicky (A)
Dicky Sam
Dictator of Letters
Didactic Poetry
Diddle (To)
Diddler (Jeremy)
Diderick
Dido
Die
Die
Die-hards