1. knowing, alert, ‘on the ball’; if not actually criminal then willing and able to bend any rule.
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor III 138/1: At fairs we make our talk rather broad, to suit the audience.|
|Susan Lenox I 213: Tempest told a story that was ‘broad’. While the others laughed, Susan gazed at him with a puzzled expression.|
2. (W.I.) physically large; socially important.
|Official Dancehall Dict. 6: Broad massive; big; influential: u. de man broad, star/he is influential.|
SE in slang uses
having wide hips.
|DSUE (1984) 137/2: late C.19-20.|
1. a Quaker; thus broad-brimmed, sedate.
|[||Humours of a Coffee-House 3 Oct. 30: Pray, let’s have done with all things that relate to Religion [...] I must confess the World is now grown so Devoutly Captious, that it is almost Blasphemy to say a Man looks like a Knave that has a Broad-Brimm’d Hat on].|
|Tom Jones (1959) 218: This the Quaker had observed, and this, added to his behaviour, inspired honest Broadbrim with a conceit, that his companion was, in reality, out of his senses.|
|Devil Upon Two Sticks in Works (1799) II 271: fingersee: But here Dr Melchisedech Broadbrim, however. [...] broadbrim: Forasmuch as not one of my brethren can be more zealous than I —.|
|Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 483: Therefore the broad-brims for the knave,/ Upon this hillock dug a grave.|
|‘The Battle of Brooklyn’ in Satiric Comedies (1969) 93: I hope you wont leave one broad-brim on the continent.|
|Sporting Mag. Dec. XXV 159/1: An honest broad-brimmed quaker [etc.].|
|‘A Sup of good Whisky’ in Jovial Songster 136: The Quakers will bid you from drink abstain [...] Yet some of the broadbrims will get to the stuff, / And tipple away till they’ve tippled enough.|
|Spectator 276: Broadbrim is used as the name of a Quaker correspondent [F&H].|
|Japhet 256: Is it possible Japhet [...] that I find you a broad-brimmed Quaker?|
|Crim. Con. Gaz. 25 Aug. 2/3: ‘Halloa you quaker, how are you, old broadbrim?’.|
|‘Uncle Sam’s Peculiarities’ in Bentley’s Misc. IV 48: Philadelphia had attracted none but the real Simon Pures, Obadiah Broadbrims, and Grey Susannahs.|
|Works (1862) V 2791: I’m up to a thing or two, and know the time of day. Broad-brims be hanged! [...] If I’ll be a Quaker any longer, call me pump, and hang an iron ladle to my nose.‘Friend in Need’|
|Stray Subjects (1848) 58: It was now the turn of the Quaker gentleman to smile [...] But our benevolent friend in the broad brim, was careless – he was!|
|Era (London) 1 Sept. 8/3: Alongside [...] swagger a streak of Broadbrims, who are daily sellers of guns to shoot Christians, because they turn the penny — but whose honest, hard working hands have never been seen at the plough [...] or any honest active handicraft.|
|Season Ticket 288: He was a Quaker ashore then. [...] I can’t say I pitied old Broadbrim much either.|
|F&H].One of the Six Hundred i: The sly broad-brim, and popularity-hunters of the Peace Society sent a deputation to the Emperor Nicholas [|
|Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 2 Oct. 7/1: [headline] a quaker can-can / Old Broadbrim’s Batter.|
|‘’Arry on ’Ome Rule’ in Punch 17 July in (2006) 121: Old Johnny Broadbrim hisself.|
2. a quiet, sedate old man, irrespective of religion.
|Sl. Dict. 97: Broad-Brim originally applied to a Quaker only; but now used in reference to all quiet, sedate, respectable old men.|
a person of wide tastes and interests.
|Punch 12 Jan. 51/1: [title] Ballads for Broad-brows.in|
|King who was King i. §2. 22: The Broadbrow is as anxious not to be ‘arty’ as the Low-brow and as terrified of the cheap and obvious as the High-brow [OED].|
a woman with wide hips.
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.|
fat, overweight, esp. around the hips and buttocks.
|[||Spirit of the Times (N.Y.) 20 Feb. 7: [This Ned Curtis had a wife, a strapping craft, broad in the beam, with a high starn [sic] and very bluff in the bows] .|
|Pippins and Pies 102: It was no easy matter, though, to crush Miss Flathers—who was what sailors call ‘broad in the beam’.|
|Vancouver Indep. (WA) 8 Sept. 2/5: If she is a little stout they say she is ‘broad in the beam’.|
|Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 29: ballon (avoir du). To be well-hipped; ‘to be broad in the beam’.|
|Oasis (Arizola, AZ) 16 Nov. 8/2: The woman was so broad in the beam and her arms were so chubby.|
|Hawaiian Star (Honolulu, HI) 17 May 12/2: Son Bill passed the six-foot mark [...] He was also broad in the beam and when he entered Columbia College [...] few Sophs there were who cared to tackle him.|
|Eve. World (NY) 13 Sept. 6/2: An aquatic lady known as High-Powered Maggie, squat in build and broad in the beam.|
|in Limerick (1953) 31: There once was a lady of Crete / So enormously broad in the beam.|
|Sexus (1969) 118: She was about the homeliest woman I’ve ever seen, broad in the beam.|
see wide place in the road under wide adj.