- at half mast
- with trouser zip undoneReferring to a flag incorrectly hoisted, except in mourning. The phrase is used as a coded message from one male to another in mixed company.
How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. R. W. Holder. 2014.
Look at other dictionaries:
half mast — noun The position of a flag partly lowered, in respect for the dead or in signal of distress • • • Main Entry: ↑half * * * ˌhalf ˈmast [half mast] noun Idiom: ↑at half mast … Useful english dictionary
half-mast — n at half mast a) if a flag is flying at half mast, it has been raised to the middle of the pole in order to show respect and sadness for someone who has died b) BrE humorous if a piece of clothing is at half mast, it is lower down the body than… … Dictionary of contemporary English
Half-mast — ( m[.a]st ), n. A point some distance below the top of a mast or staff; as, a flag a half mast (a token of mourning, etc.). [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
half-mast — noun at half mast a flag that is at half mast has been lowered to the middle of a pole, often in order to show respect for someone who has died … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
half-mast — 1620s, from HALF (Cf. half) + MAST (Cf. mast) (n.1) … Etymology dictionary
half-mast — [haf′mast′] n. the position of a flag lowered about halfway down a mast, staff, etc., esp. as a sign of mourning vt. to fly (a flag) at half mast … English World dictionary
half-mast — half′ mast′ n. 1) naut. navig. a position approximately halfway between the top of a mast, staff, etc., and its base 2) to place (a flag) at half mast • Etymology: 1620–30 … From formal English to slang
half-mast — n. at half mast (the flags were flying at half mast) * * * [ˌhɑːf mɑːst] at half mast (the flags were flying at half mast) … Combinatory dictionary
half-mast — /haf ˈmast / (say hahf mahst) noun 1. a position which is lower than the normal position of a flag on a flagpole; the position where a flag is flown to indicate death or mourning, the tradition possibly based on the idea of allowing space for the … Australian English dictionary
half-mast — noun at half mast a) a flag that is at half mast has been put at the middle of the pole in order to show respect and sadness for someone important who has died b) BrE humorous if someone s trousers are at half mast, they are too short … Longman dictionary of contemporary English
half-mast — I. noun Date: 1588 a point some distance but not necessarily halfway down below the top of a mast or staff or the peak of a gaff II. transitive verb Date: 1891 to cause to hang at half mast < half mast a flag > … New Collegiate Dictionary