One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A member of a military or police force whose uniform includes, or consists of, a grey coat; specifically (US) a soldier of the Confederate army in the American Civil War (1861–5).
2British. A person distinguished by wearing a grey woollen coat; specifically (a) a yeoman in the former county of Cumberland (now part of Cumbria); (b) a clothier in Kent. Now historical.
Mid 17th century. From grey + coat. Compare grey-coated.
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