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QUICK QUOTE

Idiom

Keep your Shirt On: Origin and Meaning

Meaning
Said to someone if you want them to stay calm or be patient.
Origin
Keep your shirt onThis idiom originated in America in the 1800s. At that time, clothes were expensive and men often only owned one or two shirts. Therefore, they would remove their shirt before getting into a fight to stop it getting ruined. If a man removed his shirt, it was a sign that he was ready to fight but if he kept his shirt on, it was clear that he did not want to fight.
Examples
“Tom, please keep your shirt on. I’m sure Julia didn’t mean to upset you.”

“I know you’ve already been waiting for an hour but you’re next in line – keep your shirt on!”

Driver 1: “I can’t believe you just drove into my car! Can’t you see where you’re going?”
Driver 2:Keep your shirt on! I can’t even see a scratch!”
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