first up, best dressed

North of England saying when clothing has to be shared between children in large and impoverished families. Oral evidence from the Isle of Man indicates that it was certainly current at least as early as the first half of the 20th cent.

1969 Times 23 Sept. 9 ‘It’s like first up, best dressed in this family’ Mr. F told me. A crane slinger, he was injured at work in February 1969... Since then he and his wife and eight children have been living on approximately £25 a week.

1988 Sydney Morning Herald (good living section) 6 Dec. 7 The airlines decided to change this to what is known as ‘wholesale free-sale’, which basically means first up, best dressed.

2007 Times Educational Supplement 8 June 32 The inability of many parents to send their children to school in clothes that have seen the inside of a washing machine in the past six months (teachers in more challenging schools will be familiar with the concept of ‘first up, best dressed’) can lead to dilemmas.


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  • First in, best dressed. — Australian something that you say which means that the first people to do something will get something first or will have an advantage. I ve got ten free tickets to the movies to hand out, so it s first in, best dressed …   New idioms dictionary

  • best — see all’s for the best in the best of all possible worlds the best is the enemy of the good the best of friends must part the best of men are but men at best the best things come in small packages the best things in life are f …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • first — /fɜst / (say ferst) adjective 1. being before all others with respect to time, order, rank, importance, etc. (the ordinal of one). 2. Music highest or chief among several voices or instruments of the same class: first alto; first horn. 3. Motor… …   Australian English dictionary

  • first — see first catch your hare first come, first served the first duty of a soldier is obedience first impressions are the most lasting on the first of March, the crows begin to search it is the first step that is difficult …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • best — 1 /best/ adjective (superlative of good) 1 better than anything else or anyone else in quality, skill, effectiveness etc: He was the best teacher in the school. | What s the best way to cook this fish? | The best thing to do is to stop worrying.… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • best — 1. adjective 1) the best hotel in Rhode Island Syn: finest, greatest, top, foremost, leading, preeminent, premier, prime, first, chief, principal, supreme, of the highest quality, superlative, par excellence, unrivaled …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • best — best1 W1S1 [best] adj [superlative of good] [: Old English; Origin: betst] 1.) better than anything else or anyone else in quality, skill, how effective it is etc ▪ He won the best actor award. ▪ What s the best way to cook this fish? ▪ The best… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Dressed to Kill — Dressed to Kill …   Википедия

  • Dressed Like Wolves — Background information Origin Teesside Genres Folk …   Wikipedia

  • Best Prom Ever — Infobox Television episode Title = Best Prom Ever Series = How I Met Your Mother Caption = Lily at the prom in a flashback. Season = 1 Episode = 20 Airdate = May 1, 2006 Production = 1ALH19 Writer = Ira Ungerleider Director = Pamela Fryman Guests …   Wikipedia

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