all fur coat and no knickers

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English[edit]

Adjective[edit]

all fur coat and no knickers (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic, derogatory) Having a superficially positive appearance that is belied by the reality, e.g., superficially elegant and beautiful but actually common.
    • 1999, David Brock, Michael J. Powell and Christopher Robin Hinings, Restructuring the professional organization: Accounting, Health Care and Law‎,
      A nurse spoke for a number of her colleagues when she said that she felt that these developments were a waste of time and 'all fur coat and no knickers' (personal interview, 1994).
    • 2003, Cliff Moughtin, Urban Design: Street and Square‎,
      From this viewpoint some forms of Post-Modernism mean new façades for old concepts, dressing the skyscraper, or the vast supermarket in the garb of the tart - 'all fur coat and no knickers'.
    • 2005, Michael Robotham, Suspect‎,
      "What about the wife?"
      "Bridget. She was all fur coat and no knickers. A real social climber."
      "But you liked her?"
      "Yes."

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