Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Dress your Jacket (or hide).

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Dress your Jacket (or hide).
I’ll dress your jacket for you. I’ll give you a beating. I’ll give you a dressing, or a good dressing. To dress a horse is to curry it, rub it, and comb it. To dress ore is to break it up, crush it, and powder it in the stamping mill. The original idea of dressing is preserved, but the method employed in dressing horses, ore, etc., is the prevailing idea in the phrases referred to.   1



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