smalls

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See also: smälls

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From small.

Noun[edit]

smalls pl (plural only)

  1. (Britain, Australia, informal) Underwear.
    He's in the garden hanging his smalls on the washing line.
    The smalls he was wearing were tight.
    • 1917, Richardson, Henry Handel, Australia Felix, Echo Library, published 2007, page 31:
      Unkempt, bearded to the eyes, there he stood clutching his shapeless old cabbage-tree, in mud-stained jumper and threadbare smalls—the very spit of the unsuccessful digger.
    • 2008, Wheeler, Donna, Melbourne & Victoria City Guide, Lonely Planet, page 198:
      [] there are also some great B&Bs and guesthouses where you can unpack a toothbrush and fresh set of smalls for the morning.
    • 2008, Reid, Shauna, The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl, page 7:
      They billowed in the sticky summer breeze, curved and enormous like the sails of the Sydney Opera House.
      Just when did my smalls become so impossibly large?
  2. Small goods.
    • 1963 December, “News and Comment: Smalls rates to be increased?”, in Modern Railways, page 364:
      He reassured another questioner that B.R. were still deeply interested in smalls traffic, but said that there would have to be substantial changes in the mode of operation and that concentration of the traffic was essential.
  3. (Oxford University slang, dated) The preliminary examination for a degree.
    • 1863, Reade, Charles, Hard Cash:
      You see, Miss Dodd, an university examination consists of several items: neglect but one, and Crichton himself would be ploughed; because brilliancy in your other papers is not allowed to count; that is how the most distinguished man of our day got ploughed for Smalls.
  4. (informal) Short for small ads.
    • 1957, Morton J. A. McDonald, How to Use Classified Advertising to Sell More Real Estate (page 21)
      Provincial English papers still carry their “smalls” — want ads — on the first page.
Synonyms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Noun[edit]

smalls

  1. plural of small

Verb[edit]

smalls

  1. Third-person singular simple present indicative form of small