stuffed shirt

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stuffed shirt (plural stuffed shirts)

  1. (idiomatic, informal) One who is pompous or self-important, especially one who is officious in a position of authority.
    • 1914, Samuel Hopkins Adams, chapter 30, in The Clarion[1]:
      "Don't you come the high-and-holy on me. You and your smooth, big, phony stuffed-shirt of a father."
    • 1941, Herman J. Mankiewicz; Orson Welles, Citizen Kane, RKO Radio Pictures, spoken by Jedediah Leland (Joseph Cotten):
      Bernstein, am I a stuffed shirt? Am I a horse-faced hypocrite? Am I a New England school marm?
    • 1952 May 26, “Medicine: Mind Matters”, in Time[2], archived from the original on 2012-12-01:
      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 July 10, Frederik Balfour, “Return of a Hong Kong Highflier”, in BusinessWeek[3]:
      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.


See also[edit]