\ \ [14] Flannel is probably one of the few Welsh contributions to the English language. It appears to be an alteration of Middle English flanensackcloth’, which was borrowed from Welsh gwlanenwoollen cloth’, a derivative of gwlānwool’. This in turn is related to Latin lānawool’ and English wool. It is not clear where the British colloquial sense ‘insincere talk’ (which seems to date from the 1920s) comes from, although it may well have been inspired by Shakespeare’s unflattering application of the word to a Welshman in the Merry Wives of Windsor 1598: ‘I am not able to answer the Welsh flannel’, says Falstaff of Hugh Evans, a Welsh parson.
\ \ Cf.WOOL

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Flannel — is a soft woven fabric, of various fineness. It usually doesn t have a nap, and instead gains its softness through the loosely spun yarn it is woven from. It is commonly used to make clothing, bed sheets, and sleepwear.Flannel was originally made …   Wikipedia

  • Flannel — Flan nel (fl[a^]n n[e^]l), n. [F. flanelle, cf. OF. flaine a pillowcase, a mattress (?); fr. W. gwlanen flannel, fr. gwlan wool; prob. akin to E. wool. Cf. {Wool}.] 1. A soft, nappy, woolen cloth, of loose texture. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • flannel — [flan′əl] n. [ME, akin to or < flanen < Welsh gwlanen < gwlan, wool < IE base * wel , hair, WOOL] 1. a soft, lightweight, loosely woven woolen cloth with a slightly napped surface 2. COTTON FLANNEL 3. [pl.] a) trousers, etc. made of… …   English World dictionary

  • flannel — c.1500, probably from Welsh gwlanen woolen cloth, from gwlan wool, from Celtic *wlana, from PIE *wele wool. The Welsh origin is not a universally accepted etymology, due to the sound changes involved; some (Barnhart, Gamillscheg) suggest the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • flannel — has inflected forms flannelled, flannelling in BrE and flaneled flaneling in AmE. Flannelette, a napped cotton fabric imitating flannel, is spelt l in both varieties …   Modern English usage

  • flannel — ► NOUN 1) a kind of soft woven woollen or cotton fabric. 2) (flannels) men s trousers made of woollen flannel. 3) Brit. a small piece of towelling for washing oneself. 4) Brit. informal empty or flattering talk used to avoid dealing with a… …   English terms dictionary

  • flannel — [[t]flæ̱n(ə)l[/t]] flannels 1) N UNCOUNT: oft N n Flannel is a soft cloth, usually made of cotton or wool, that is used for making clothes. He wore a faded red flannel shirt. 2) N PLURAL: also a pair of N Flannels are men s trousers made of… …   English dictionary

  • flannel — /flan l/, n., v., flanneled, flanneling or (esp. Brit.), flannelled, flannelling. n. 1. a soft, slightly napped fabric of wool or wool and another fiber, used for trousers, jackets, shirts, etc. 2. a soft, warm, light fabric of cotton or cotton… …   Universalium

  • flannel — noun (BrE) ⇨ See also ↑washcloth ADJECTIVE ▪ damp, wet ▪ cold ▪ face VERB + FLANNEL ▪ use …   Collocations dictionary

  • flannel — noun Etymology: Middle English flaunneol woolen cloth or garment Date: 1503 1. a. a soft twilled wool or worsted fabric with a loose texture and a slightly napped surface b. a napped cotton fabric of soft yarns simulating the texture of wool… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • flannel — /ˈflænəl / (say flanuhl) noun 1. a warm, soft fabric of wool or blends of wool and cotton, wool and rayon, or cotton warp with wool filling. 2. Especially WA, SA and Tasmania → face washer. 3. (plural) an outer garment, especially trousers, made… …  

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