Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Dicky (A),

 Dickey or Dicky.Dicky Sam. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Dicky (A),
 
in George III.’s time, meant a flannel petticoat. It was afterwards applied to what were called false shirts—i.e. a shirt front worn over a dirty shirt, or in lieu of a shirt. These half-shirts were first called Tommies.
       
“A hundred instances I soon could pick ye—
Without a cap we view the fair,
The bosom heaving alto bare,
The hips ashamed, forsooth, to wear a dicky.”
   1
       
Peter Pindar: Lord Auckland’s Triumph.
   So again:—
       
“And sister Peg, and sister Joan,
With scarce a flannel dicky on … .”
   2
       
Middlesex Election, letter iv.
        (Hair, whalebone, or metal vestments, called dress-improvers, are hung on women’s backs, as a “dicky” is hung on a coach behind.)
 


 Dickey or Dicky.Dicky Sam. 

 
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