He was like an anatomy—i.e. a mere skeleton, very thin, like
one whose flesh had been anatomised or cut off. Shakespeare uses atomy
as a synonym. Thus the hostess Quickly says to the Beadle
: “Thou atomy, thou!” and Doll Tearsheet caps the phrase with,
“Come, you thin thing; come, you rascal.” —2 Henry IV, v. 4.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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