(A ). An Austrian soldier. So called
because he wears a white coat. Similarly, an English soldier is called
a red-coat. In old Rome, ad saga ire meant to
“become a soldier,” and tumere sagum
to enlist, from the sagum or military cloak worn
by the soldier, in contradistinction to the toga
worn by the citizen in times of peace.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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