wooden kimono

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From earlier criminal slang phrases like wooden overcoat with the same meaning.


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wooden kimono (plural wooden kimonos)

  1. (US, slang) A coffin.
    • 1935, Capt. Billy's Whiz-Bang Winter Annual, back cover:
      "And you're just about ready to give up the ghost and call for a wooden kimono."
    • 1946, Mezz Mezzrow & Bernard Wolfe, Really the Blues, Payback Press 1999, page 19:
      I expected the man to show up any minute with his tape measure to outfit me with a wooden kimono.
    • 1976, Tom Waits, Small Change, Asylum Records, 1976, Track #10:
      "The wooden kimono was all ready to drop in San Francisco Bay, but now he's mumbling something all about the one that got away."