Hair-shirt



noun
1.
a garment of coarse haircloth, worn next to the skin as a penance by ascetics and penitents.
2.
self-imposed punishment, suffering, sacrifice, or penance.
noun
1.
a shirt made of haircloth worn next to the skin as a penance
2.
a secret trouble or affliction
n.

garment of ascetics and penitents, 1680s, from hair + shirt. Figurative use by 1884. Earlier, such a garment was called simply a hair.
A self-imposed punishment or penance, as in I apologized a dozen times—do you want me to wear a hair shirt forever? This term, mentioned from the 13th century on, alludes to wearing a coarse, scratchy hair shirt, the practice of religious ascetics. Its figurative use dates from the mid-1800s.

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  • Hairsplitting

    [hair-split-ing] /ˈhɛərˌsplɪt ɪŋ/ noun 1. the making of unnecessarily fine distinctions. adjective 2. characterized by such distinctions: the hairsplitting arguments of a political debate. /ˈhɛəˌsplɪtɪŋ/ noun 1. the making of petty distinctions adjective 2. occupied with or based on petty distinctions

  • Hair-splitting

    [hair-split-ing] /ˈhɛərˌsplɪt ɪŋ/ noun 1. the making of unnecessarily fine distinctions. adjective 2. characterized by such distinctions: the hairsplitting arguments of a political debate. /ˈhɛəˌsplɪtɪŋ/ noun 1. the making of petty distinctions adjective 2. occupied with or based on petty distinctions n. “making over-nice distinctions,” by 1739, from hair + verbal noun from split (v.). […]



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