Posted by Baceseras on December 27, 2007
In Reply to: Of any stripe posted by Smokey Stover on December 27, 2007
: : What is the etymology of "of any stripe"?
: Just as textile fabrics can be made with a great variety of patterns characterized by different stripes, so men can be sorted into different types, or metaphorically, stripes. The OED has:
: "8. orig. U.S. a. A particular shade or variety of political or religious doctrine; in wider sense, a sort, class, type. [examples:]
: 1853 Congressional Globe 11 Feb. 576/3 He has not been long in his present 'stripe' of politics. 1854 Ibid. 18 May 1206/2 Every member of the Democratic party, of whatever shade or stripe, is perfectly honest. 1863 Battlefields of the South I. vii. 93 Frank Blair pointed him out as 'of the right stripe'--the 'coming man'. . . . "
I wonder if the earliest uses referred somehow to the "regimental stripes" and the "old school tie" --- both means of readily identifying a fellow's background and affiliations.