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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 ?
Lydgate had after all to give some scrutiny to each drawer, the Vicar laughing at himself, and yet persisting in the exhibition.
The sixth drawer was at once a surprise and a disappointment.
Would the prisoner, in the hottest week of a hot summer, be likely to go to a drawer containing winter underclothing.
The press marked E was unlocked; and I took out the drawer, had it filled up with straw and tied in a sheet, and returned with it to Cavendish Square.
She took successively all the other papers out till the drawer was empty.
Tell the man the formula for powder is in grey envelope in first drawer to the left of Secretary's desk, War Office, in red ink.
Pierre looked up and saw at a window of the large house some Frenchmen who had just thrown out the drawer of a chest, filled with metal articles.
In the half-open drawer by his side was the barrel of a loaded revolver.
It was noticeable that his right hand slipped open a few inches the right-hand drawer of his desk.
But, on the contrary, Cornelius had received the parcel from the hands of his godfather with every mark of respect, and put it by with the same respectful manner in a drawer, stowing it away so that it should not take up too much of the room which was reserved to his bulbs.
The long drawer under Borckman's bunk caught his eye.
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.
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.