Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
return to (one's) muttons
antiquated To return to a given topic or subject that one is discussing, explaining, ruminating over, talking about, etc. Taken from a humorous translation of the French idiom "revenons à nos moutons" (literally, "let us return to our sheep," which has the same meaning), which itself came from the medieval play La Farce de Maître Pathelin. The constable, frustrated with the drunkard's rambling explanation, bade him return to his muttons. But I have strayed off course from the lecture, so let us return to our muttons before we run out of time.
obsolete slang A prostitute. A: "I think that Lord Stewart is spending time with a laced mutton." B: "No, surely not!"
mutton dressed (up) as lamb
A disparaging term for an older woman who tries unsuccessfully to look much younger or finds herself attractive in the style of younger women. Primarily heard in UK. I don't know what she's thinking wearing a dress like that. She looks like mutton dressed as lamb!
be mutton dressed as lamb
To be an older woman who is trying unsuccessfully to look much younger. This term is usually disparaging. Mutton is the meat of an old sheep, while a lamb is a young sheep. Primarily heard in UK. I don't know what she's thinking wearing a dress like that. She's mutton dressed as lamb.
(as) dead as mutton
1. Certainly dead. Primarily heard in UK. I poked that squirrel with a stick and, yeah, it's as dead as mutton.
2. Totally defunct. Primarily heard in UK. Oh, that idea from last week's meeting is dead as mutton now that the CEO has vetoed it.
dead as muttonBRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
1. If a person or animal is as dead as mutton, they are completely dead. We saw a viper. It was 4 feet long and was as dead as mutton.
2. If something or someone is as dead as mutton, they are no longer active or popular. He advised him that radio was just about to become as dead as mutton because of the advent of television.
mutton dressed as lambor
mutton dressed up as lambBRITISH
If you describe a middle-aged or old woman as mutton dressed as lamb or mutton dressed up as lamb, you mean she dresses in a style which is suitable only for a younger woman. I'm always careful to avoid looking like mutton dressed as lamb. Note: Mutton is the meat of an adult sheep, and lamb is the meat of a young sheep, as well as being the name of the animal itself.
mutton dressed as lamba middle-aged or old woman dressed in a style suitable for a much younger woman. British informal
Mutton occurs in various derogatory contexts relating to women. It has been used as a slang term for prostitutes from the early 16th century, for example, while the phrase hawk your mutton means ‘flaunt your sexual attractiveness’ or (of a prostitute) ‘solicit for clients’.
1988 Salman Rushdie The Satanic Verses Mutton dressed as lamb, fifty plus and batting her eyelashes like an eighteen-year-old.
be mutton dressed (up) as ˈlamb(British English, informal, disapproving) used to describe a woman who is trying to look younger than she really is, especially by wearing clothes that are designed for young people: Have you seen her? Mutton dressed as lamb. Somebody should remind her that she’s 55, not 25.
Mutton is the meat from an adult sheep, while lamb is the meat from a young sheep.