"dyed in the wool" versus "dye in the wool"

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David_Porta

Member
American English
First most Christians (excepting dye in the wool Christian comics fans) are not interested in super heroes especially from a secular point of view.​
Was "dye in the wool" a typo or intentional?
I know the phrase as "dyed in the wool" and am wondering if your variant is idiomatic or a typo.
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/dyed-in-the-wool
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dyed-in-the-wool
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dye_in_the_wool
I understand that there are regional differences in this world.
When one dyes the wool before weaving it into fabric, the color is more likely to hold fast. The dye is in the wool from the start. I understand how it could be idiomatic. It sounds strange to me, though. I would say "dyed in the wool Christians". Maybe it was a typo.
 
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  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    Since the sentence appears to be missing punctuation as well, I would imagine that it's a typo. "Dyed in the wool" is the only version of this phrase that I know.
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    First most Christians (excepting dye in the wool Christian comics fans) are not interested in super heroes especially from a secular point of view.​
    Was "dye in the wool" a typo or intentional?
    I know the phrase as "dyed in the wool" and am wondering if your variant is idiomatic or a typo.
    http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/dyed-in-the-wool
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dyed-in-the-wool
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dye_in_the_wool
    I understand that there are regional differences in this world.
    When one dyes the wool before weaving it into fabric, the color is more likely to hold fast. The dye is in the wool from the start. I understand how it could be idiomatic. It sounds strange to me, though. I would say "dyed in the wool Christians". Maybe it was a typo.
    While it may be a typo, I suspect that it is simply a nonstandard variant of "dyed-in-the-wool." That is, the writer did not set out to write "dyed-in-the-wool" because he did not say "dyed-in-the-wool" but instead said "dye-in-the-wool." The lack of hyphens is likely due to an ignorance of the rule that adjectives formed out of multiple words usually have hyphens between the words--and that aspect might be thought of as a typo.

    I say this after having looked at a number of examples on the Internet of

    dye in the wool conservative
    dye-in-the-wool conservative

    dye in the wool liberal
    dye-in-the-wool liberal

    dye in the wool socialist
    dye-in-the-wool socialist

    I don't have proof of this, of course, just an impression, based upon my knowledge that d is often dropped in pronunciation and that idioms are often altered because people treat them as a whole idea and do not think of the original meaning of the individual parts. To really know whether I am correct, we would have to contact some of these people and ask them what they intended to write.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I absolutely agree with mplsray. People say "cream corn" because they've never heard/noticed the "ed" of "creamed". People say "first come, first serve" because they've never heard the "ed" of "served". This is extremely common. I suspect that the author of the text simply doesn't know that it's "dyed in the wool".
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I absolutely agree with mplsray. People say "cream corn" because they've never heard/noticed the "ed" of "creamed". People say "first come, first serve" because they've never heard the "ed" of "served". This is extremely common. I suspect that the author of the text simply doesn't know that it's "dyed in the wool".
    Would such people think that a dye in the wool Christian (conservative, liberal, socialist) is one who dyes in the wool rather than one who has been dyed in the wool?
    Or perhaps they wouldn't think at all about the meaning of the expression.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Would such people think that a dye in the wool Christian (conservative, liberal, socialist) is one who dyes in the wool rather than one who has been dyed in the wool?
    [....]
    Not being one of them, I can't say for sure, but I think they may think of it as an elliptical way of saying "the dye [is] in the wool."
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Would such people think that a dye in the wool Christian (conservative, liberal, socialist) is one who dyes in the wool rather than one who has been dyed in the wool?
    Or perhaps they wouldn't think at all about the meaning of the expression.
    I suspect people don't think about the meaning.

    I found an online dictionary definition for "died :)eek:) in the wool"....
    died in the wool
    confirmed, certain of his beliefs, card-carrying ... A died-in-the-wool democrat - that's me. I believe in democracy.
    Source
     

    David_Porta

    Member
    American English
    I suspect that it is simply a nonstandard variant of "dyed-in-the-wool." I say this after having looked at a number of examples on the Internet of

    dye in the wool conservative
    dye-in-the-wool conservative

    dye in the wool liberal
    dye-in-the-wool liberal

    dye in the wool socialist
    dye-in-the-wool socialist

    I don't have proof of this, of course, just an impression, based upon my knowledge that d is often dropped in pronunciation.
    I had googled only "dye in the wool." I hadn't thought of your extended (adding the noun) google searches. A good idea, that. I followed suit.

    By googling the following, I conclude that a lot of people seem to think that it is "dye in the wool."
    "dye in the wool conservative"
    "dye in the wool liberal"
    "dye in the wool atheist"
    "dye in the wool progressive"
    "dye in the wool socialist"
    idioms are often altered because people treat them as a whole idea and do not think of the original meaning of the individual parts.
    Oh, and (not too off-topic, and inspired by my spelling pause in writing my second sentence, and by your remark) I just now googled "I followed suite" to see what I'd get. I got a lot of hits.

    Sigh.

    Well, I am satisfied. I believe you are right in your assessment. Thank-you and Good Afternoon.
     
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