green gown

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green gown (plural green gowns)

  1. (now archaic, historical) A dress that has been stained green from rolling in the grass; generally with allusion to sexual activity, especially a woman's loss of virginity. [from 16th c.]
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, III.2.2.iv:
      Sometimes they lie open and are most tractable and coming, apt, yielding, and willing to embrace, to take a green gown, with that shepherdess in Theocritus, Idyll. 27, to let their coats, etc. […].
    • 1723, Charles Walker, Memoirs of Sally Salisbury, II:
      Who first gave our SALLY a Green-Gown is uncertain, but it is reported by many [...] that upon being admitted an Honorary Member of Mrs. Wisebourn's Academy, she was, (tho' very indifferently) arrayed in that Colour [...].
    • 1814, Frances Burney, The Wanderer, III.4:
      The boy [...] flung himself upon Juliet, with all his force; protesting that he would give her a green gown.