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Posted by R. Berg on October 25, 2001

In Reply to: "Stand pat" and "straight-laced" posted by Cindy R. on October 25, 2001

: Both of these words appear in the song "Saint James Infirmary Blues". Any ideas on their derivation?

The second one, "strait-laced," originally meant laced tightly, as a corset. "Strait" means "narrow" and also turns up in geographical names (Bering, Gibraltar) and "straitjacket."

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