Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Red-breasts.

 Red Boots.Red Button (A). 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Red-breasts.
 
Bow Street runners, who wore a scarlet waistcoat.   1
        “The Bow Street runners ceased out of the land soon after the introduction of the new police. I remember them very well as standing about the door of the office in Bow Street. They had no other uniform than a blue dress-coat, brass buttons … and a bright red cloth waistcoat… The slang name for them was ‘Red-breasts.’”—Dickens: Letters, vol. ii. p. 178.
 


 Red Boots.Red Button (A). 

 
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