- high-ranking military officers.
- any very important officials.
Origin of brass
Synonyms for brass
Related Words for brasspresumption, confidence, impertinence, cheek, impudence, audacity, assumption, brashness, rudeness, gall, chutzpah, insolence, effrontery
Examples from the Web for brass
Contemporary Examples of brass
So maybe we should take a lesson from women with brass ovaries: comedy and feminism are longstanding bedfellows.Comedians and Feminism Getting Laughs
October 23, 2014
At BeyondVape there is a board where people can record their last tobacco cigarette in brass, a way of committing to vaping.This Is Your E-Cigarette on Drugs
July 28, 2014
The whole town was in a drunken reverie, singing and dancing to brass bands with the tribal beat of the Basques.Is This Hemingway’s Pamplona or a Lot of Bull?
July 13, 2014
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
June 30, 2014
Ted tugged at the brass buttons of her red, wool-crepe dress.‘Tracing the Blue Light’: Read Chapter 1 of Eileen Cronin’s ‘Mermaid’
April 8, 2014
Historical Examples of brass
I will go further, and admit that the brass plates may not all be frauds.A Treatise on Parents and Children
George Bernard Shaw
The visitor's advent was announced again by the brass knocker on the front door.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
To effect a change of ownership with the candid concomitance of a brass band.The Devil's Dictionary
Will you give us each a bracelet of brass as well as the rifles?The Monster Men
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Kirkwood smiled grimly, with a face of brass, impenetrable, inflexible.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
- 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