- too big for one's breeches, asserting oneself beyond one's authority or ability.
Origin of breeches
- the lower, rear part of the trunk of the body; buttocks.
- the hinder or lower part of anything.
- Ordnance. the rear part of the bore of a gun, especially the opening and associated mechanism that permits insertion of a projectile.
- Machinery. the end of a block or pulley farthest from the supporting hook or eye.
- Nautical. the outside angle of a knee in the frame of a ship.
- Ordnance. to fit or furnish (a gun) with a breech.
- to clothe with breeches.
Origin of breech
Examples from the Web for breeches
I'll get a pair of ridin' breeches an' boots for you by tomorrow.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
Pierre, utterly bewildered, could find neither his breeches nor his cassock.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
The man hath a straight sword within he leg of his breeches.Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
Then came the ominous clicking of the breeches as cartridges were thrust home.The Law-Breakers
It is an excrescence, not an essential garment like the shirt and breeches.Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2)
William Delisle Hay
- trousers extending to the knee or just below, worn for riding, mountaineering, etc
- informal, or dialect any trousers
- too big for one's breeches conceited; unduly self-confident
- the lower dorsal part of the human trunk; buttocks; rump
- the lower part or bottom of somethingthe breech of the bridge
- the lower portion of a pulley block, esp the part to which the rope or chain is secured
- the part of a firearm behind the barrel or bore
- obstetrics short for breech delivery
- to fit (a gun) with a breech
- archaic to clothe in breeches or any other clothing
Word Origin and History for breeches
c.1200, a double plural, from Old English brec "breeches," which already was plural of broc "garment for the legs and trunk," from Proto-Germanic *brokiz (cf. Old Norse brok, Dutch broek, Danish brog, Old High German bruoh, German Bruch, obsolete since 18c. except in Swiss dialect), perhaps from PIE root *bhreg- (see break (v.)). The Proto-Germanic word is a parallel form to Celtic *bracca, source (via Gaulish) of Latin braca (cf. French braies), and some propose that the Germanic word group is borrowed from Gallo-Latin, others that the Celtic was from Germanic.
Expanded sense of "part of the body covered by breeches, posterior" led to senses in childbirthing (1670s) and gunnery ("the part of a firearm behind the bore," 1570s). As the popular word for "trousers" in English, displaced in U.S. c.1840 by pants. The Breeches Bible (Geneva Bible of 1560) so called on account of rendition of Gen. iii:7 (already in Wyclif) "They sewed figge leaues together, and made themselues breeches."
"back part of a gun or firearm," 1570s, from singular of breeches (q.v.).
- The lower rear portion of the human trunk; the buttocks.