stuffed shirt

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stuffed shirt

Someone who is very formal, pompous, or old-fashioned. I had heard he was a bit of a stuffed shirt, but he was very pleasant when I met him, and not pretentious at all.
See also: shirt, stuff
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

stuffed shirt

An overly formal or pompous person, as in She's such a stuffed shirt that I'm surprised you'd invite her to a barbecue. This expression alludes to a shirt filled with paper (instead of a real person). [c. 1900]
See also: shirt, stuff
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a stuffed shirt

If you call a man a stuffed shirt, you mean that he is formal and boring. His seminars work because he speaks like an ordinary, approachable person rather than a stuffed shirt. It's his amusement about the world around him that makes him appealing as a politician, so different from all those stuffed shirts. Note: You can use stuffed-shirt before a noun. I have little patience with the dress rules of stuffed-shirt establishments. Note: This refers to a shirt being displayed on a dummy in a clothing shop. The dummy is hollow and has no use apart from filling the space occupied by the shirt.
See also: shirt, stuff
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a stuffed ˈshirt

(informal, disapproving) a person who is very serious, formal or old-fashioned: This office is full of stuffed shirts; there’s no one fun that I can have a laugh with.
See also: shirt, stuff
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

stuffed shirt

n. a dull and stuffy person, usually a male. Mr. Wilson is a stuffed shirt, and people would tell him so if he didn’t have so much money.
See also: shirt, stuff
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

stuffed shirt, a

A pompous, self-satisfied, rigid person. Shakespeare had the idea in Much Ado about Nothing (1.1), “He is no less than a stuffed man,” implying that this person was so full of himself that he was, in fact, quite empty. The current cliché, which dates from about 1900, calls up the image of a shirt filled with tissue paper or some other material, which then appears to have a live person in it but actually does not.
See also: stuff
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
In fact there is absolutely nothing to suggest why on earth free-spirited Polly would give stuffed shirt Reuben the time of day let alone embark on a new relationship with him.
But no one can accuse Messier of being a stuffed shirt. At a recent ceremony awarding him the Legion d'Honneur, instead of receiving it from a government functionary, Messier chose trendy photographer Bettina Rheims, who also holds the medal.
dismisses as "a pompous stuffed shirt," decked him with a quick left fist.
Twickenham has seen its fair share of stifling performances from the All Blacks, Australia and England, but the stuffed shirt gin 'n' tonic crew must have felt for the Cardinals as they laboured from start to finish and left looking like the US Eagles rugby side would have been more at home.
It all seemed like the end of the world to the straight-laced cricketing hierarchy and stuffed shirt administrators.
It's a pity Ian Shaw as her sparring partner Elyot comes across as a bit of a stuffed shirt, but Rosanna Lavelle and Harry Burton are delightful as their spurned spouses.
But one thing's for sure you'll never be just another stuffed shirt when you're in the Pink.
'You see it all over the world, but here it seems we have a stuffed shirt mentality.'
If he had got as far as the Cabbage Patch pub down the road some RFU stuffed shirt would probably have felt his collar and put him on the first train to Waterloo.
Eddie Murphy is the street hustler who changes places with a stuffed shirt financial wizard, played by Dan Aykroyd.
When he briefly changed Statehouse press credentials to read "Official Jackal," or insisted that the Pioneer Press could not use his "trademarked" name and image in a political comic strip, or refused, for "security" reasons, after 9/11, to let reporters know his daily schedule -- it was Jesse "The Body" Ventura who ended up looking like the stuffed shirt.
There are no hushed voices or stuffed shirt waiting staff.
But these days you don't have be a stuffed shirt to get involved in the rapidly growing Central Scotland Softball League.
But would it really have been too much for Iain Duncan Smith, this tin man, to show Kieran that he felt something - anything - beneath that stiffly stuffed shirt of his?
Can Corie's free-thinking attitude help her hubby become less of a stuffed shirt? Although it's almost 40 years old, this comedy hasn't lost any of its sparkle, thanks to great performances from leads Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.