sport one's oak

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Compare French trouver visage de bois.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Verb[edit]

sport one's oak (third-person singular simple present sports one's oak, present participle sporting one's oak, simple past and past participle sported one's oak)

  1. (dated, Britain, college slang) To close one's door as an indication that visitors are not welcome.
    • 1861, Bradley, Edward, The Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green:
      One day that he had been writing a letter in Mr. Smalls' rooms, which were on the ground-floor, Verdant congratulated himself that his own rooms were on the third floor, and were thus removed from the possibility of his friends, when he had sported his oak, being able to get through his window to "chaff" him; but he soon discovered that rooms upstairs had also objectionable points in their private character, and were not altogether such eligible apartments as he had at first anticipated.
    • 1903, Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh, ch 70:
      "Goodness gracious," I exclaimed, "why didn't we sport the oak? Perhaps it is your father. But surely he would hardly come at this time of day! Go at once into my bedroom."