• Reading their shirts
    Reading their shirts
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v shirt put a shirt on
    • n shirt a garment worn on the upper half of the body
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: During the California gold rush of 1849, miners sent their laundry to Honolulu for washing and pressing. Due to the extremely high costs in California during these boom years, it was deemed more feasible to send their shirts to Hawaii for servicing.
    • n Shirt A loose under-garment for the upper part of the body, made of cotton, linen, or other material; -- formerly used of the under-garment of either sex, now commonly restricted to that worn by men and boys. "Several persons in December had nothing over their shoulders but their shirts .""She had her shirts and girdles of hair."
    • v. t. & i Shirt To cover or clothe with a shirt, or as with a shirt.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The origin of right-handed buttons on men's shirts stems from battles where they wore armor. With most men being right handed the armor needed to overlap so that a sword could not enter through the gap during a right-handed blow from an adversary.
    • n shirt A garment, formerly the chief under-garment of both sexes. Now the name is given to a garment worn only by men and a similar garment worn by infants. It has many forms. In western Europe and the United States, the shirt ordinarily worn by men is of cotton, with linen bosom, wristbands, and collar prepared for stiffening with starch, the collar and wristbands being usually separate and adjustable. Flannel and knitted worsted shirts or under-shirts are also worn.
    • n shirt The amnion, or some part of it.
    • n shirt In a blast-furnace, an interior lining.
    • shirt To clothe with a shirt; hence, by extension, to clothe; cover.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The slowest trainee on the SEALs obstacle course must wear a pink T-shirt that reads, "Always a Lady".
    • n Shirt shėrt a short garment worn next the body by men: an interior lining in a blast-furnace
    • v.t Shirt to cover as with a shirt
    • ***


  • Oliver Goldsmith
    “I have known a German Prince with more titles than subjects, and a Spanish nobleman with more names than shirts.”
  • Douglas William Jerrold
    Douglas William Jerrold
    “Fortunes made in no time are like shirts made in no time; it's ten to one if they hang long together.”
  • John Heywood
    John Heywood
    “The loss of wealth is loss of dirt, as sages in all times assert; The happy man's without a shirt.”


Keep your shirt on! - This idiom is used to tell someone to calm down.
Lose your shirt - If someone loses their shirt, they lose all their money through a bad investment, gambling, etc.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. schirte, sherte, schurte,; akin to Icel. skyrta, Dan. skiorte, Sw. skjorta, Dan. skiört, a petticoat, D. schort, a petticoat, an argon, G. schurz, schürze, an argon; all probably from the root of E. short, as being originally a short garment. See Short, and cf. Skirt


In literature:

My hired man, an' not three shirts to yer back!
"Other Main-Travelled Roads" by Hamlin Garland
We wore shirts, long shirts slit up the side.
"Slave Narratives, Oklahoma" by Various
The diaper, stockings, shirt, skirt, and dress with an additional wrapper for cold days completes the outfit at this age.
"The Mother and Her Child" by William S. Sadler
Hawkesbury standing in his night-shirt in the middle of the room.
"My Friend Smith" by Talbot Baines Reed
Having no handkerchief, in a moment I stripped off my shirt, and waved it wildly out of the window.
"Dick Cheveley" by W. H. G. Kingston
He didn' hab on anything but his shirt an' he say he run so fas' 'til the wind had his shirt-tail stif as a board.
"Slave Narratives Vol. XIV. South Carolina, Part 2" by Works Projects Administration
The shirt worn at home by woman is an article made of silk or cotton.
"Modern Persia" by Mooshie G. Daniel
One night I came on deck in my shirt.
"Jacob Faithful" by Captain Frederick Marryat
Gentlemen's night-shirts are made like other shirts, except that they are longer.
"A Treatise on Domestic Economy" by Catherine Esther Beecher
Did a man in his shirt sleeves come in here?
"Frank Merriwell's Races" by Burt L. Standish
The mate glanced at his shirt, of the finest and whitest silk, and giggled significantly.
"A Son Of The Sun" by Jack London
Our pants were heavily lined and if it was cold, we wore more shirts.
"Old Rail Fence Corners" by Various
Stooping over the injured man she twisted her fingers into the collar of his shirt and succeeded in raising his face clear of the water.
"Prairie Flowers" by James B. Hendryx
It was starlight reflecting from Polter's shirt bosom.
"Beyond the Vanishing Point" by Raymond King Cummings
It was at this meeting that the Mexican Gold shirts were organized.
"Secret Armies" by John L. Spivak
Dey had ter grease de shirt ter git it off case de blood whar de oberseer beat him had stuck de shirt tight ter de skin.
"Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States" by Various
I saved my shirt, and now I only wear it occasionally.
"Gold Seekers of '49" by Edwin L. Sabin
I can whip you in your shirt sleeves.
"Watch and Wait" by Oliver Optic
De Red Shirts come along and got Wade Hampton in.
"Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves" by Work Projects Administration
No one, thanks to my servant's vigilance, had stolen any shirt of mine.
"A Padre in France" by George A. Birmingham

In poetry:

He's got no gal,
He's got no jack,
No fancy silk shirts
For his back.
"Mose" by Sterling A Brown
His hat made of an oaken leaf,
His shirt a spider's web,
Both light and soft for those his limbs
That were so smally bred.
"The Life And Death Of Tom Thumb" by Anonymous British
"Mine own unquenchable desire,
Ambition, lust, consumes,
Clothes me with a shirt of fire;
I mourn among the tombs."
"Ballad Of The Dead Monk; Or, Brother Benedict" by Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel
Who his friend's shirt, or hem of his shirt,
Shall spare to pledge,
To him Eden's bliss and Angel's kiss
Shall want their edge.
"From the Persian of Hafiz II" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The only sheep they muster there
Leap through the mind at night;
'Twould be as red as marking time
To change green shirt for white.
"Up North" by David Campbell
"It may seem strange to you at first;
We both wear one same hat,
We have one coat, one shirt, one thirst;
Why should we stop at that?
"Another Fusion" by C J Dennis

In news:

Burl red-shirted the fall but is now suspended indefinitely according to the report.
Arm The Animals Charitably Chic T-Shirts.
Walls covered in Elvis' jumpsuits, good burgers and the cafés abundant T-shirts from around the globe.
This Saturday August 18 we will be inside Brava Theatre sharing some KPOO T-Shirts.
Quarterback Tim Tebow pulls off his shirt as he runs off the field in a downpour — leaving overheated female fans all a-Twitter.
They're out of their usual crime-fighting uniforms—anyone who's seen the band in public would instantly wonder where their baby-blue tuxedo shirts are—but they're righteous and ready for anything nonetheless.
No, no, it wasn't JUST a t-shirt.
Here's a look at the nerd revolt in pictures, from T-shirts and roadside signs to a hodgepodge of Photoshop creations.
Dress for success — jeans, sneakers and Hawaiian shirt.
Virginia Flynn, of Attleboro, walks among the shirts at last year's Clothesline Project at First Parish Church, Taunton.
The green T-shirts signified survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Skyla Martin, a Sikeston High School senior, sorts through T-shirts for The Clothesline Project.
Wolf shirt' on goes viral with newfound coolness .
That's my daughter, who is tugging at my shirt and reminding me how many of those e-invitations were, in fact, for her.
Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood Students at Kentwood's Endeavour Elementary work together to weave using recycled T-shirts.

In science:

Thanks to Alan Hammond for many relevant conversations, and to a kind friend, Michael Shirts, for managing my thesis submission at Stanford while I was in Paris.
Random Surfaces
In this task, a group of six students (shown in figure 3) serve as two teams, one with white shirts and one with black.
The role of context and culture in teaching physics: The implication of disciplinary differences
Your task is to see how well you can concentrate by counting the number of passes among the members of the white-shirted team.
The role of context and culture in teaching physics: The implication of disciplinary differences
Free energy perturbation (FEP) is an important category of methods for free energy calculation; we refer to the recent works by Lu et al.1 and by Shirts and Pande5 for review and comparisons.
Determination of the chemical potential using energy-biased sampling
There is a striking similarity in the patterns we observe in a crumpled ball of paper, a crushed aluminium can or, for that matter, the creases that develop on the back of one’s shirt when one’s back has been up against the wall a little too long.
How paper folds: bending with local constraints
Once such singular points are established, however, irreversible damage will be done to the surface: iron out the creases we may but the paper will remain scored, the can scarred and, perhaps this is stretching the analogy, shirts do become threadbare.
How paper folds: bending with local constraints