Shoddy

properly means the flue and fluff thrown off from cloth in the process of weaving. This flue, being mixed with new wool, is woven into a cloth called shoddy —i.e. cloth made of the flue “shod” or thrown off. Shoddy is also made of old garments torn up and re-spun. The term is used for any loose, sleazy cloth, and metaphorically for literature of an inferior character compiled from other works. (Shed, provincial pret. “shod;” shoot, obsolete pret. shotten.)

Shoddy characters.
Persons of tarnished reputation, like cloth made of shoddy or refuse wool.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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