Word of the Day : November 17, 2011


noun HAB-er-dash-er


1 : a dealer in notions

2 : a dealer in men's clothing and accessories

Did You Know?

At various times throughout its history, the term "haberdasher" has referred to a dealer of hats or caps, a seller of notions (sewing supplies such as needles and thimbles), and apparently (perhaps somewhat coyly) as a person who sells liquor. Nowadays, with hats not being as fashionable as they once were, the word mostly is applied generally as a clothing outfitter for men, with "haberdashery" referring to the establishment or the goods sold there. "Haberdasher" derives via Middle English from "hapertas," an Anglo-French word for a kind of cloth, as does the obsolete noun "haberdash," which once meant petty merchandise or small wares.


Mr. Watson planned to visit the haberdasher during the week to find some new shirts for his wardrobe.

"Under his ownership, the store's reputation spread. Clients flew into Portland and stayed at the Heathman Hotel to await their appointments with the courteous haberdasher." -- From an obituary by Anne Saker in The Oregonian, September 20, 2011

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