[‘ A kind of hat shaped like a turban.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈməʊab/, U.S. /ˈmoʊæb/
Etymology:Humorously < the name of Moab (see Moabite adj. and n.) occurring in the biblical phrase ‘Moab is my washpot’
(Psalm 60:8 and 108:9, where David compares the subjugated nation of Moab to a vessel used for washing the feet).
In sense 1 with reference to the pot-like shape of the hat; compare pot hat n. at pot n.1 Compounds 2.
slang. Now chiefly hist.
1. A kind of hat shaped like a turban.
- 1864 J. C. Hotten Slang Dict. (new ed.), Moab, a name applied to the turban-shaped hat fashionable among ladies, and ladylike swells of the other sex, in 1858–9. From the Scripture phrase ‘Moab is my washpot’ (Ps. lx. 8), which article the hat in question is supposed to resemble.—University.
- 1884 Graphic 20 Sept. 307/2 His stiff brown ‘Moab’ of the newest fashion.
- 1960 C. W. Cunnington et al. Dict. Eng. Costume 137/1 Moab, a turban hat with a bowl-shaped crown.
2. Chiefly in English public schools: an outdoor conduit for washing; a tub, trough, or other container for water; a washroom.
1. 1865 W. L. Collins Etoniana 21 Two by two they ‘went down’ to wash, probably at some outdoor conduit or fountain like the old Winchester Moab.
2. 1866 R. B. Mansfield School Life Winchester Coll. 190 On the west side of school court, a spacious room, nicknamed Moab, has been erected, with numerous marble basins, and an unlimited supply of fresh water.
3. 1867 W. L. Collins Public Schools 45 It was not pleasant to have to wash at the old Moab..—an open conduit in the quadrangle, where it was necessary, on a severe winter morning, for a junior to melt the ice on the stop-cock with a lighted faggot before any water could be got to flow at all.
4. 1940 M. Marples Public School Slang, Moab, a receptacle (e.g. a sink, a tub) for dirty plates: Haileybury.
5. 1979 R. Towler & A. P. M. Coxon Fate Anglican Clergy v. 126 Other terms enjoyed wide currency in the 1960s, such as ‘Moab’ (wash-place) [etc.].