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linsey-woolsey

[lin-zee-woo l-zee]
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noun, plural lin·sey-wool·seys.
  1. a coarse fabric woven from linen warp, or sometimes cotton, and coarse wool filling.
  2. a garment made from this.
  3. Archaic. any mixture that is incongruous or of poor quality; jumble: That last speech was a linsey-woolsey of stale platitudes.
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Origin of linsey-woolsey

1425–75; late Middle English lynsy wolsye literally, linen cloth, wool cloth, equivalent to lyn (Old English līn; see linen) + -sy, variant of say cloth (< Old French saie; akin to Medieval Latin sagia kind of weave, Latin sagum cloak) + wol wool + -sye, variant of say
Also called linsey.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for linsey-woolsey

Historical Examples

  • The literature of China is, happily, not all linsey-woolsey.

    Moon Lore

    Timothy Harley

  • She was dressed in linsey-woolsey, and the overalls of the three sons were also home-spun.

    Hunters Out of Space

    Joseph Everidge Kelleam

  • Your labor is too skilled by far to manufacture bagging and linsey-woolsey.

  • Four yards of linsey-woolsey, a yard in width, made a dress for any woman.

  • The coats of the men were home-made; the materials, jeans or linsey-woolsey.


British Dictionary definitions for linsey-woolsey

linsey-woolsey

noun
  1. a thin rough fabric of linen warp and coarse wool or cotton filling
  2. a strange nonsensical mixture or confusion
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Word Origin

C15: probably from Lindsey, Suffolk village where the fabric was first made + wool (with rhyming suffix -sey)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for linsey-woolsey

n.

late 15c., originally a cloth woven from linen and wool; the words altered for the sake of a jingling sound. Linsey is attested from mid-15c., apparently meaning "coarse linen fabric." Some sources suggest a connection or influence from the place name Lindsey in Suffolk.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper