turn your coat

   dishonourably to desert a cause
   A survival from the days when livery facilitated recognition and personal allegiance, on and off the battlefield:
    Perhaps wisely they turned coat and told us where he was. (C. Allen, 1975 — Ali Dinar's spies betrayed him)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Turn — (t[^u]rn), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Turned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Turning}.] [OE. turnen, tournen, OF. tourner, torner, turner, F. tourner, LL. tornare, fr. L. tornare to turn in a lathe, to rounds off, fr. tornus a lathe, Gr. ? a turner s chisel, a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • turn — turn1 W1S1 [tə:n US tə:rn] v ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(your body)¦ 2¦(object)¦ 3¦(direction)¦ 4¦(move around central point)¦ 5¦(change)¦ 6¦(attention/thoughts)¦ 7 turn your back (on somebody/something) 8¦(age/time)¦ 9 turn something inside out …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • turn — 1 verb CHANGE DIRECTION/POSITION 1 a) YOUR BODY (I) to move your body so that you are looking in a different direction: Ricky turned and walked away. (+ around/round/away etc): I turned around quickly to see if someone was following. | Dan turned …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • change your jacket —    to desert an old allegiance    A modern variant of turn your coat:     This was made possible because there were those in the new Socialist Order who had changed their jackets following Franco s death, (letter in Daily Telegraph, 17 December… …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • To turn one's coat — Turn Turn (t[^u]rn), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Turned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Turning}.] [OE. turnen, tournen, OF. tourner, torner, turner, F. tourner, LL. tornare, fr. L. tornare to turn in a lathe, to rounds off, fr. tornus a lathe, Gr. ? a turner s… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To turn a cold shoulder to — Turn Turn (t[^u]rn), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Turned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Turning}.] [OE. turnen, tournen, OF. tourner, torner, turner, F. tourner, LL. tornare, fr. L. tornare to turn in a lathe, to rounds off, fr. tornus a lathe, Gr. ? a turner s… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To turn a corner — Turn Turn (t[^u]rn), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Turned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Turning}.] [OE. turnen, tournen, OF. tourner, torner, turner, F. tourner, LL. tornare, fr. L. tornare to turn in a lathe, to rounds off, fr. tornus a lathe, Gr. ? a turner s… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To turn a flange — Turn Turn (t[^u]rn), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Turned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Turning}.] [OE. turnen, tournen, OF. tourner, torner, turner, F. tourner, LL. tornare, fr. L. tornare to turn in a lathe, to rounds off, fr. tornus a lathe, Gr. ? a turner s… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To turn a hostile army — Turn Turn (t[^u]rn), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Turned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Turning}.] [OE. turnen, tournen, OF. tourner, torner, turner, F. tourner, LL. tornare, fr. L. tornare to turn in a lathe, to rounds off, fr. tornus a lathe, Gr. ? a turner s… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To turn a penny — Turn Turn (t[^u]rn), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Turned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Turning}.] [OE. turnen, tournen, OF. tourner, torner, turner, F. tourner, LL. tornare, fr. L. tornare to turn in a lathe, to rounds off, fr. tornus a lathe, Gr. ? a turner s… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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