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bottom drawer

A young woman's collection of household items to use in her home after marriage. Primarily heard in UK. Sarah collected linens and sheets for her bottom drawer in anticipation of her new life as a married woman.
See also: bottom, drawer

drop (one's) drawers

To remove one's pants or underwear. I was so muddy after working in the garden that I dropped my drawers as soon as I got into the house.
See also: drawer, drop

from the top drawer

From an elite social class. If she's from the top drawer, then why would she waste her time with a pauper like you?
See also: drawer, top

out of the top drawer

From an elite social class. If she's out of the top drawer, then why would she waste her time with a pauper like you?
See also: drawer, of, out, top

drop one's drawers

to lower one's pant or underpants. The boys dropped their drawers and jumped in the creek.
See also: drawer, drop

top drawer

Of the highest quality, importance, or rank, as in The musicians in this pick-up orchestra were top drawer. It probably alludes to the uppermost drawer in a bureau or chest, where the most valuable objects (such as jewelry) are usually kept. [c. 1900]
See also: drawer, top

out of the top drawer


from the top drawer

mainly BRITISH
1. If someone or something is out of the top drawer or from the top drawer, they are of very high quality. The player I am looking for will be right out of the top drawer. Castleford produced a performance right out of the top drawer to thrash Wigan 33-2. Note: You can also use top-drawer on its own to describe someone or something is of a very high quality. The Grange Hotel may be top drawer, but it's not pretentious. The dramatisation is superbly played by a top-drawer cast.
2. If someone is out of the top drawer or from the top drawer, they come from a very high social class. His companion came from right out of the top drawer of the Irish landed gentry.
See also: drawer, of, out, top

bottom drawer

the collection of linen, clothes, and household items assembled by a woman in preparation for her marriage.
The bottom drawer was the traditional place for storing such articles. The US equivalent is hope chest .
See also: bottom, drawer

hewers of wood and drawers of water

menial drudges; labourers.
This expression refers to Joshua 9:21, which tells the story of how the Israelites were tricked into sparing the lives of some of the indigenous inhabitants of the Promised Land: ‘And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation’.
See also: and, drawer, of, water, wood

not the sharpest knife in the ˈdrawer

(also not the sharpest tool in the ˈbox) (humorous) not intelligent: I know he’s good-looking, but he’s not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, is he? OPPOSITE: a/one smart cookie
See also: drawer, knife, not, sharp


n. someone—usually a child—whose pants are falling down. (Also a term of address.) Hey, droopy-drawers, pull up your pants.


mod. top-quality. I want to hire a young MBA who’s top-drawer.

top drawer

Highest quality. The 19th-century practice of keeping jewelry and other valuables in the highest drawer of a bedroom dresser gave rise to this phrase, which was applied both to people and to things. “First rate” is a similar phrase, as is “varsity,” meaning a person figuratively sufficiently admirable to qualify for the starting team.
See also: drawer, top
References in classic literature ?
There it is, sir," said I, pointing to the drawer, where it lay on the floor behind a table and still covered with the sheet.
what was left of it) would still say: `I have not helped the enemy; I said it was the left drawer.
The neat fitting-up of drawers and shelves, and the bookcase filled with expensive illustrated books on Natural History, made him think again of the winnings at cards and their destination.
The sound come from the chest of drawers, and Peter made a merry face.
Saying this, the judge pointed with his finger to the third drawer of the press, near the fireplace.
A glance was enough to show him that no second drawer had been overlooked.
The sixth drawer was at once a surprise and a disappointment.
I have had a visit from mine, and you may be sure it is no pleasant thing in the end; I was at last about to jump down from the drawers.
Does it not strike you as unlikely that a man who had committed a crime should keep the evidence of it in an unlocked drawer for anyone to find?
He therefore applied to his bell, which he rung at least twenty times without any effect: for my landlady was in such high mirth with her company, that no clapper could be heard there but her own; and the drawer and chambermaid, who were sitting together in the kitchen (for neither durst he sit up nor she lie in bed alone), the more they heard the bell ring the more they were frightened, and as it were nailed down in their places.
He went into her room, and without greeting her, walked straight up to her writing-table, and taking her keys, opened a drawer.
A bullet-hole, plugged, in the face of the top drawer, told of the fight with the Indians at Little Meadow.
He opened, and shut, one drawer after another, until he came to the drawer in which the mock Diamond was put.
There was a drawer in it, with a lock, and the key was in the lock.
He looked a little at it, but did not tell it, and huddled it all into the drawer again, and then reaching his pocket, pulled out a key, and bade me open a little walnut-tree box he had upon the table, and bring him such a drawer, which I did.