stuffed shirt

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stuffed shirt ‎(plural stuffed shirts)

  1. (idiomatic) One who is pompous or self-important, especially one who is officious in a position of authority.
    • 1914, Samuel Hopkins Adams, The Clarion, ch. 30:
      "Don't you come the high-and-holy on me. You and your smooth, big, phony stuffed-shirt of a father."
    • 1952, "Medicine: Mind Matters," Time, 26 May:
      Dr. Laughlin was the only one in a movie party who detested the second male lead—"I regarded him as overserious, pedantic, a stuffed shirt."
  2. (usually hyphenated) Used attributively.
    • 2000, Frederik Balfour, "Return of a Hong Kong Highflier ," BusinessWeek, 10 July:
      The opportunistic style that was the bank's trademark still prevails and continues to attract talented young Hong Kongers looking for an alternative to the stuffed-shirt culture of most U.S. and European banks.