Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Badge of Poverty.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Badge of Poverty.
In former times those who received parish relief had to wear a badge. It was the letter P, with the initial of the parish to which they belonged, in red or blue cloth, on the shoulder of the right sleeve. (See DYVOUR.)   1


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