Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Gathers (g hard).

 GatheredGauche (French, the left hand). 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Gathers (g hard).
Out of gathers. In distress; in a very impoverished condition. The allusion is to a woman’s gown, which certainly looks very seedy when “out of gathers”—i.e. when the cotton that kept the “pleats” together has given way. (Anglo-Saxon, gader-ian, to gather, or pleat.)   1

 GatheredGauche (French, the left hand). 


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