To hang on one's sleeve. To listen devoutly to what one says;
to surrender your freedom of thought and action to the judgment of
another. The allusion is to children hanging on their mother's sleeve.
To have in one's sleeve
is to offer a person's name for a vacant situation. Dean Swift,
when he waited on Harley, had always some name in his sleeve. The
phrase arose from the custom of placing pockets in sleeves. These
sleeve-pockets were chiefly used for memoranda, and other small
To laugh in one's sleeve.
To ridicule a person not openly but in secret; to conceal a laugh
by hiding your face in the large sleeves at one time worn by men. Rire sous cape
To pin to one's sleeve,
as, “I shan't pin my faith to your sleeve,” meaning, “I shall not
slavishly believe or follow you.” The allusion is to the practice of
knights, in days of chivalry, pinning to their sleeve some token given
them by their ladylove. This token was a pledge that he would do or
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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