piece of goods, a

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piece of goods

1. Any individual product that is bought and sold. Every piece of goods that we sell is inspected for faults before it is put on the shelves for our customers. The new technology helps companies track any piece of goods after it leaves their warehouses.
2. slang A person, often a woman. Primarily heard in UK. My father-in-law was a real nasty piece of goods. You didn't want to be on his bad side, let me tell ya! I felt so insulted when I overheard the interviewer describing me as a "plain-looking piece of goods."
See also: good, of, piece
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

piece of goods, a

Spoken either humorously or disparagingly, a woman. Literally this phrase long meant a portion of cloth, but sometime before about 1750 it began to be applied to a human being. Thomas Gray put it negatively in a letter of 1751: “That agreeable creature . . . will visit you soon, with that dry piece of goods, his wife.” But Fanny Burney was more positive: “His daughter—as droll a piece of goods as one might wish to know” (Early Diary, 1776). See also piece of work.
See also: of, piece
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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