Where does the phrase 'top drawer' come from?

7 January 2020, 13:47

The 'top drawer' was previously for valuables and jewellery.
The 'top drawer' was previously for valuables and jewellery. Picture: PA

The phrase 'top drawer' has high society origins.

Mystery Hour Question

Why do we say things are 'top drawer' if they are the best?

Matthew, Stockport.

Answer

Name: Stefan, Cardiff

Qualification: None really, but his mother told him.

Answer: In the olden days in England, a woman's dresser-room would have a hierarchy of drawers. The top drawer was where they kept the jewellery and valuables. The saying is, therefore, linked to being high-class.

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