Green’s Dictionary of Slang

sprig n.1

[? SE sprig, a young descendant]

a show-off.

[UK]M. Leeson Memoirs (1995) III 193: They were vastly more generous, and had more cash, than many of our sprigs of fashion and rank.
[UK] ‘The Wig Gallery’ in Jovial Songster 30: The wig’s the thing, the wig, the wig, / Be of the ton a natty sprig.
[UK]W. Combe Doctor Syntax, Picturesque (1868) 68/1: An arch young sprig, a banker’s clerk.
[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London I 597: The generality of the company bore the appearance of Butchers, Dog-fanciers and Ruffians, intermingled here and there with a few Sprigs of Fashion, a few Corinthian Swells.
[Ire]Tom and Jerry; A Musical Extravaganza I iv: The barber’s clerk as sprucely set off as a young sprig of nobility.
[US]A. Greene Life and Adventures of Dr Dodimus Duckworth I 89: The darling sprig of genius.
[UK]Bell’s Life in London 10 Feb. 2/1: Young sprigs of rank [...] / Their courage high, their game unshrinking.
[Aus]G.C. Mundy Our Antipodes III 260: A tall, picturesque-looking sprig of the squattocracy has just pitched his ‘swag’ – a leathern valise – through the open skylight.
[UK]Worcs. Chron. 24 June 4/1: A young sprig spoke to him.
[UK] in G.D. Atkin House Scraps 14: A young sprig of nobility [...] was once heard to tell a friend that when he was in the House he felt like ‘an orchid in a turnip field.’.
[US]F. Dumont Dumont’s Joke Book 83: The young sprig jumped up with a flourish, exclaiming, ‘Maw foine fellow, what’s your chawge?’.
[UK]‘Bartimeus’ ‘Watch there, Watch!’ in Naval Occasions 124: ‘More’n you’ll ever be, my sprig o’ fashion,’ grumbled the Lieutenant.
[UK]G. Kersh Fowlers End (2001) 152: A gay young sprig, I dare say? Showering your wealth.
[UK]L. Cody Bad Company 82: They don’t take kindly to a young sprig with a la-di-dah accent telling them what’s what.