2 Annotations

Phil Gyford   Link to this

L&M define this as "seamen's ready made clothes".

Answers.com says:

1. slops Articles of clothing and bedding issued or sold to sailors.
2. slops Short full trousers worn in the 16th century.
3. A loose outer garment, such as a smock or overalls.
4. slops Chiefly British. Cheap, ready-made garments.

[Middle English sloppe, a kind of garment, from Old English -slop (in oferslop, surplice).]

language hat   Link to this

OED:

4. Wide baggy breeches or hose, of the kind commonly worn in the 16th and early 17th cent.; loose trousers, esp. those worn by sailors.

5. Ready-made clothing and other furnishings supplied to seamen from the ship's stores; hence, ready-made, cheap, or inferior garments generally.
1663 PEPYS Diary 16 Mar., Advising upon the business of Slopps, wherein the seaman is so much abused by the pursers. 1764 COMM. BYRON Voy. in Hawkesworth I. 9 The men.. who had contrived to sell not only all their warm clothes, but their bedding,.. now applied in great distress for slops. [...]

Some compounds:

1867 SMYTH Sailor's Word-bk. 633 *Slop-Book, a register of the slop clothing, soap, and tobacco, issued to the men; also of the religious books supplied.

1840 R. H. DANA Bef. Mast xxix. 102 Having begun the voyage with very few clothes, he had taken up the greater part of his wages in the *slop-chest.

1699 LUTTRELL Brief Rel. (1857) IV. 493 The deduction of 12d. in the pound by the paymaster for *slop cloaths.. is without warrant.

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References

  • 1663
  • 1665