Posted by Victoria S Dennis on January 03, 2008
In Reply to: Flannel posted by Gary Martin on January 02, 2008
: : I was brought up in the West Riding of Yorkshire & it was common for us to use the expression, "Don't give me that flannel", meaning 'don't talk rubbish'/'don't fib to me'. Does anyone know where the expression originates please?
: I've heard that in other parts of England too. In the West Midlands, flannel didn't mean rubbish exactly, there was an implication of deliberate deceit - somewhat like pulling the wool over someone's eyes.
Collins' Dictionary of Slang says that the noun "flannel" has been used to mean "rubbish, albeit plausible rubbish" since the 1920s, and the verb "to flannel" has meant "to talk nonsense in a soothing, plausible manner, esp for the purposes of charming a woman one wishes to seduce" since the 1940s. I imagine the original metaphor was flannel's function as wrapping, padding or muffling material. (VSD)