Green’s Dictionary of Slang

stuffed shirt n.

also stiff shirt, stuffed polony
[i.e. the shirt is there, but there is no one inside it; polony n.1 (1)]

(orig. US) a pompous, aristocratic but ineffectual person, a bore.

[[UK]Jonson Every Man Out of his Humour I i: A shallow fool, he has no more brain than a butterfly, a mere stuft suit].
Times-Trib. (Scranton, PA) 26 July 5/2: ‘Aw, he’s nothin’ but a big stuffed shirt’.
[US]Nassau Herald 47: There is among us a beautiful stuffed shirt which goes by the name of Andrew Thompson.
[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 79: He was up against a man far superior to himself, but when they say that the miner knows nothing at all about the game, the wise ones seem to talk like a stuffed shirt.
W.S. Cather O Pioneers! 144: He characterized Frank Shabata by a Bohemian expression which is the equivalent of stuffed shirt.
[US]S. Lewis Arrowsmith 384: One should always be a stuffed shirt, like old Tubbs. Then one would have respect even from artistic New Jersey spinsters.
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Cancer (1963) 278: The stuffed shirts whom the State hires to bend the minds of the young.
[US]G.T. Fleming-Roberts ‘Snatch Bait’ in Ten Detective Aces Oct. [Internet] All kinds of guys go there—even stiff shirts.
[US]F.S. Fitzgerald ‘Pat Hobby’s College Days’ Pat Hobby Stories (1967) 164: They [i.e. professors] were stuffed shirts — everybody knew that.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 15 Mar. [synd. col.] He has aroused the ire of any number of stiff shirts, plain punks [and] assorted Fifth Columnists.
[US]‘F. Bonnamy’ A Rope of Sand (1947) 169: There was more than a little of the stuffed shirt about the youthful lawyer.
[UK](con. 1914) B. Marshall George Brown’s Schooldays 181: Come on, Ab, you stuffed polony; open your trap and say something.
[UK]M. Allingham Hide My Eyes (1960) 56: Freddy used to say you really are the finest stuffed shirt in captivity.
[UK]J. Quirk No Red Ribbons (1968) 201: Let’s torment the hell out of the stuffed shirts.
[US](con. 1916) G. Swarthout Tin Lizzie Troop (1978) 126: Don’t be such a stuffed shirt, Phippsy.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 6: If you’re a blue-nosed wowser […] , a stuffed shirt, a raving pillow-biter or a loony old lezzo.
[US](con. 1969) N.L. Russell Suicide Charlie 147: I’m on my way out the door. Got myself a job driving a jeep for some stuffed shirt with a star.
[UK]Observer Mag. 9 Apr. 14: The moment where the man ... is a man. Instead of a stuffed shirt.