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Dressing down

Posted by ESC on March 29, 2009 at 16:12

In Reply to: Dressing down posted by Guest on March 27, 2009 at 14:08:

: "Give a dressing down" - where does it come from?

To dress someone down -- To reprimand or scold. May have come from butchers' jargon, "alluding to the initial cut into a carcass on a beam. A more likely reference is to builders' talk, in which to dress a brick down is to scour its front face to make it seem bright and new." "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" revised by John Ayto (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 2005, Seventeenth Edition). Page 417.