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#1 2012-11-20 03:26:59

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1251

"Top draw" for "top drawer"

I noticed that one of the quoted hits in an earlier post contained an unusual turn of phrase that could easily be overlooked. The eggcorn identified there was “curious egg”, but there’s something else odd going on:

When the Wonder Stuff were added to the bill as a late replacement for the Michael McGoldrick Band, I thought this was going to be a bit of a curious egg of a performance. I’ll hold my hand up and admit I was wrong, this was top draw folk inspired pop/rock.
Concert review

I’m sure that the original idiomatic expression is top drawer. I remember the first time I heard it, from an academic achievement pep talk/Sunday School lesson. The Phrase Finder says it was first used to describe persons of high social standing, presumably by those of similar standing. “Top draw” is of course legitimate in its own right—a top-draw movie is a popular one, one that attracts a large crowd. I get 125 hits for “is just top drawer” against 67 for “is just top draw”. Perhaps most interesting when it’s used in situations where audience appeal is at issue. Another sense would be “first pick”, I guess.

His touch, calmness and composure is just top draw. That 2nd goal * applause *
Soccer transports

Agree with what Beetle Juice said, the cast is just top draw!
Movie review

the atmosphere created by the sound is just unbelievable, I keep going on, but the playing is just top draw.
Rock review



#2 2012-11-25 21:29:05

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2211

Re: "Top draw" for "top drawer"

A good example of the way changes in technology and social habits give new meaning to old idioms.



#3 2012-12-01 01:47:21

Dixon Wragg
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 715

Re: "Top draw" for "top drawer"

A factor which complicates the picture a bit is the fact that people from some regions say “draw” for “drawer”. At least, that’s what it sounds like to me in a New Yawk accent. So for such people, “draw” for “drawer” wouldn’t be an eggcorn, just a regional pronunciation (or a phonetic spelling of one).



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