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DYED in the wool

Posted by ESC on September 08, 1999

In Reply to: DYED in the wool posted by Charleston on September 07, 1999

: I'm just 'dying' to find out what this phrase means, and where it came from. Thanks, and sorry for the pitiful pun.

This from "Hog on Ice" by Charles Earle Funk (Harper & Row, 1948):

Dyed in the wool -- if wool is dyed before it's made up into yarn, or while it was still raw wool, the color would be more firmly fixed. "The figurative sense -- have one's habits or traits so deeply ingrained as to be inflexible -- seems not to have been used in England before the late sixteenth century, for a writer of that period thought he had to explain his meaning when he used it. This was odd, for England was largely dependent upon her textile industry then and earlier..."