Turncoat

As the dominions of the duke of Saxony were bounded in part by France, one of the early dukes hit upon the device of a coat blue one side, and white the other. When he wished to be thought in the French interest he wore the white outside; otherwise the outside colour was blue. Whence a Saxon was nicknamed Emmanuel Turncoat. (Scots' Magazine, October, 1747.)

Without going to history, we have a very palpable etymon in the French tourne-côte (turn-side). (See Coat.)

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