bull’s wool n.1
1. second-hand, cheap or homemade clothes; also attrib.
|[||Carroll Free Press (Carrolton, OH) 21 Dec. 1/5: Many young men, who would have otherwise spent their twenty-five years in the bull’s wool of a private, are now basking in the scarlet commissioned coats of British officers].|
|You Can’t Win 86: I donned the cheap bullswool suit and threw my good one away.|
|Man’s Grim Justice in Hamilton Men of the Und. 277: I stole [...] a bull’s wool and oakum shirt.|
|Harper’s Mag. CLX 308: He steps out of prison in his suit of bull’s wool, and squeaky shoes.‘A Burglar Looks at Laws and Codes’ in|
|Mr. Tully in Dáil Éireann 17 May n.p.: I understand we are now the only civilised nation which has still held on to what is vulgarly known as the bull’s wool uniform.|
2. (US black) stolen clothes; also attrib.
|Und. and Prison Sl. 22: bullswool, n. Stolen clothing [...] bullswool thief. One who specializes in robbing clothing stores.|
|Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 17: Now the skull was draped in bull’s wool and the banter knew the play.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 37: bull’s wool thief A clothing store burglar.|
3. (Aus.) a young man with a mop of bushy hair.
|Sun. Times (Perth) 29 Oct. 4/7: I wanted old Bull’s Wool to ’ave a go for this ’ere seat.|
|DSUE (8th edn) 152/1: Tasmania [...] C.20.|