copper-bottomed

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English[edit]

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The copper-bottom hull of the Cutty Sark

Etymology[edit]

From the copper sheathing applied to the bottom of a wooden ship to prevent damage from marine organisms. In literal sense 18th century, in figurative sense attested since at least 1807.[1]

Adjective[edit]

copper-bottomed (comparative more copper-bottomed, superlative most copper-bottomed)

  1. Having lower parts made of or covered by copper (especially of a ship or cookware).
  2. (UK, idiomatic) Thoroughly reliable.
    • 1807, Washington Irving, Salmagundi:[1]
      The copper-bottomed angel at Messrs. Paff’s in Broadway.

Usage notes[edit]

Related term copperfasten used with similar meaning, but different nuance – copper-bottomed means “reliable, trustworthy”, while copper-fastened means “secured, unambiguous”.[1]

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Copper-bottomed”, The Phrase Finder, Gary Martin.