Mutton dressed as lamb

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GEmatt

Senior Member
English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
It seems that this is used exclusively to describe some elder women, and their sartorial tastes. But does anyone know of an equivalent for elder men?

Thanks,
GEmatt
 
  • sloopjc

    Senior Member
    UK English
    He's the, "oldest swinger in town" is common BE for a gent who likes to party. It certainly addresses his desire to remain young and trendy. Mutton dressed as lamb focuses on appearance. I can't account for the message that the image purveys, because I don't believe that the woman in this situation, is particularly bothered about emulating the young - unlike her male counterpart. Interesting thread!
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    It seems that this is used exclusively to describe some elder women, and their sartorial tastes. But does anyone know of an equivalent for elder men?

    Thanks,
    GEmatt
    I wouldn't say "elder men" or "elder women" in this situation.

    "Older" would do.

    Now you can all jump on me and call me sexist, but "mutton dressed as lamb" is the sort of thing that older women do - but not older men do. So there is no common expression for that behaviour.
     

    GEmatt

    Senior Member
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    Now you can all jump on me and call me sexist
    That would be most unbecoming:D. I suspected that there's no common expression for it... for the reason you mentioned. I guess men behave differently in that respect. They blow their pensions on fancy cars, or get a mistress who's thirty years younger:eek:.

    Why not "elder"? I was going by the dictionary definition... could you shed some light, please?
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    Except in the expressions "elder brothers" "elder sisters", I don't think I've ever heard elder used as an adjective before a plural.
     

    GEmatt

    Senior Member
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    Or Elder Berry, the friendly representative of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, who used to come round and visit us, when I was a nipper.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    Elder, in "Elder Berry", is not an adjective describing Mr Berry, rather a rank in the Mormon Church. I've noticed that most Elders in the LDS are quite young.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Or Elder Berry, the friendly representative of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, who used to come round and visit us, when I was a nipper.
    Did the good Mr Berry, the Elder, have elderberry stains on his sleeves?

    Elder or Elderberry (Sambucus or small ) is a genus of between 5-30 species of fast-growing shrubstrees (two species herbaceous), formerly treated in the honeysuckle family Caprifoliaceae, but now shown by genetic evidence to be correctly classified in the moschatel family Adoxaceae.
    Back to the topic: But does anyone know of an equivalent for elder men?

    That's (referring to younger woman or automobile) his mid-life crisis.
     

    GEmatt

    Senior Member
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    Did the good Mr Berry, the Elder, have elderberry stains on his sleeves?
    No, cuchu. But he did have an associate by the name of Elder Flower.

    That's (referring to younger woman or automobile) his mid-life crisis.
    So you think there's no real equivalent, like Brioche suggested?

    Winklepinkle: thanks, that's a good one!
    GEmatt
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    So you think there's no real equivalent, like Brioche suggested?
    I don't know of one. Cosmetics and cosmetic surgery for men is relatively recent, other than for medical reasons. I'm sure the language will catch up soon. Men's clothing doesn't seem to vary very much according to age group.
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    Mutton dressed as lamb focuses on appearance. I can't account for the message that the image purveys, because I don't believe that the woman in this situation, is particularly bothered about emulating the young - unlike her male counterpart. Interesting thread!
    How on Earth could the expression mutton dressed as lamb not indicate a desire to emulate the young?

    The Collins dictionary.

    lamb n 1 the young of a sheep 2 the meat of a young sheep

    mutton n 1 the flesh of sheep, especially of mature sheep, used as food. 2 mutton dressed as lamb. an older woman dressed up to look young.

    .,,
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Cambridge Dict. of Idioms agrees:

    mutton dressed (up) as lamb British, informal

    an offensive way of saying that a woman is dressed in a style that is more suitable for a much younger woman

    Do you think this skirt is too short? I don't want to look like mutton dressed as lamb.
    As a small aside, this seems purely BE. I have never heard or read it in AE.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    We do have the expression "silver fox", which I have heard over the last few years, but this would refer to an older man who is still sexy and attractive to women, whereas the "mutton dressed as lamb" expression has negative connotations. I rather like a silver fox, myself.
     
    We have lots of women in the UK who are definitely "mutton dressed as lamb" - and deliberately so.

    They often go out "clubbing" with their daughter(s), hoping to "pull a man". They wear mini-skirts, low-plunging tops, balcony bras and very high, stiletto-heeled shoes. The make up they wear is ridiculous - plastered on with a trowel, once they have filled up the wrinkles with polyfilla. Their faces are always a deep tan/orange colour. They wear vivid eye-shadow and false eyelashes, and deep red lipstick. They usually have (obviously) dyed black hair (to hide the grey). They are quite grotesque, the stuff of nightmares.

    Their male counterparts are less in evidence, but they do exist. They usually go out wearing tight jeans and a shirt unbuttoned almost to the waist. Leather jackets are popular with them. Some of them resort to wearing chest wigs and a very large gold-coloured medallion. They also dye their hair (if they have any) in a most unbecoming shade of jet black, or they will wear a cheap toupée. They colour their eyebrows with black mascara.

    What to call them? I suggest "goats dressed as kids".

    LRV
    still wearing the
    tweed suits
    and brogues.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Moderator Note: This is the thread topic:

    It seems that this is used exclusively to describe some elder women, and their sartorial tastes. But does anyone know of an equivalent for elder men?

    Thanks to all those who have addressed the thread topic.

    Further discussions of other matters will be deleted. You are, of course, more than welcome to begin new threads to discuss other English usage questions.


     
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