This is very, very struggling for me to imagine: why " there is fat on a hairpin"??? I could get that the dress is too small and tight, and maybe the person is a little fat(depends on how you see it, not to me), but why fat on a pin? HELP please.

Here is the sentence :

The embarrassing thing was not that I was wearing my mother’s suit, or that it was in a cut last fashionable in the late 1980s, but that it was actually a tiny bit small for me. I felt the waistband cutting into my midriff, and pulled the double-breasted jacket across. As Dad says of Mum, there’s more fat on a kirby grip.

1 Answer 1


A kirby grip is a very thin hairpin.

When the Dad says of Mum that "there’s more fat on a kirby grip", he means that Mum has less fat than something as thin as a kirby grip, which means he says she is very thin.

The daughter is embarrassed by her not fitting into her mother's suit, and then mentioned what her Dad says of Mum to show us that her mother is very thin.

  • oh my, I have thought for the whole time it's some kind of slang or some superstition or some kind fashion term.
    – user86301
    Dec 14, 2018 at 8:00
  • Nice answer. I would not have guessed that was the reference.
    – Andrew
    Dec 14, 2018 at 8:02
  • I have to admit I had to Google "kirby grip", as I never heard of that term, but once I saw images of these pins, it became very clear.
    – Eran
    Dec 14, 2018 at 8:05
  • finally totally get it! this is very interesting !
    – user86301
    Dec 14, 2018 at 8:06

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