- high-ranking military officers.
- any very important officials.
- brass band,
- brass farthing,
- brass hat,
- brass instrument,
- brass knuckles
Origin of brass
Examples from the Web for brass
So maybe we should take a lesson from women with brass ovaries: comedy and feminism are longstanding bedfellows.
At BeyondVape there is a board where people can record their last tobacco cigarette in brass, a way of committing to vaping.
The whole town was in a drunken reverie, singing and dancing to brass bands with the tribal beat of the Basques.
The Riveters boast capos (chant leaders), tifos (giant club-support banners), drums, brass, and flags.Portland Is Ground Zero for the Best Women’s Soccer in the World|Evelyn Shoop|June 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Ted tugged at the brass buttons of her red, wool-crepe dress.‘Tracing the Blue Light’: Read Chapter 1 of Eileen Cronin’s ‘Mermaid’|Eileen Cronin|April 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He pointed to my blue capote with brass buttons—the summer uniform of the company.The Cryptogram|William Murray Graydon
Here you will rot in the grave and six brass buttons will be all that will be left of you.Short Stories|Fiodor Dostoievski
In sudden climax the motion of the waves fills all the brass in triumphant paean, in the gleam of high noon.Symphonies and Their Meaning; Third Series, Modern Symphonies|Philip H. Goepp
Mr Brass slyly tickles his nose with his pen, and looks at Kit with the water standing in his eyes.The Old Curiosity Shop|Charles Dickens
Beatrice noted that the brass tubes were all eaten and pitted with verdigris, but they still held firmly.Darkness and Dawn|George Allan England
- the large family of wind instruments including the trumpet, trombone, French horn, etc, each consisting of a brass tube blown directly by means of a cup- or funnel-shaped mouthpiece
- (sometimes functioning as plural) instruments of this family forming a section in an orchestra
- (as modifier)a brass ensemble
Word Origin for brass
Old English bræs "brass, bronze," originally in reference to an alloy of copper and tin (now bronze), later and in modern use an alloy of two parts copper, one part zinc. A mystery word, with no known cognates beyond English. Perhaps akin to French brasser "to brew," because it is an alloy. It also has been compared to Old Swedish brasa "fire," but no sure connection can be made. Yet another theory connects it with Latin ferrum "iron," itself of obscure origin.
As brass was unknown in antiquity, use of the word in Bible translations, etc., likely means "bronze." The Romans were the first to deliberately make it. Words for "brass" in other languages (e.g. German Messing, Old English mæsling, French laiton, Italian ottone) also tend to be difficult to explain.
The meaning "effrontery, impudence" is from 1620s. Slang sense of "high officials" is first recorded 1899. The brass tacks that you get down to (1897) probably are the ones used to measure cloth on the counter of a dry goods store, suggesting precision. Slang brass balls "toughness, courage" (emphatically combining two metaphors for the same thing) attested by 1960s.
In addition to the idioms beginning with brass
- brass hat
- brass ring
- bold as brass
- double in brass
- get down to brass tacks