One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
- ‘The fourth class (officers of the British Empire and Lieutenants of the Royal Victorian Order) and fifth class (members of the British Empire and Royal Victorian Order) wear their respective badges on medal ribands or bows (women).’
- ‘When the Dodgers and the Giants left New York in 1957, he quoted Robert Browning: ‘Just for a handful of silver he left us, just for a riband to stick in his coat.’’
- ‘Since, in an egalitarian society, there are few opportunities to wear crosses and ribands, the Order of the British Empire has begun to sell ties.’
- ‘Some betrayed patients, institutions, and colleagues in the search for ribands to stick in their coats.’
- ‘The silent roadway looked like a long riband of polished silver, flecked here and there by the dark arabesques of waving shadows.’
Middle English: from Old French riban, probably from a Germanic compound of the noun band.
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