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The meaning and origin of the expression: As brown as a berry

As brown as a berry

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What's the meaning of the phrase 'As brown as a berry'?

Entirely or very brown; often referring to a suntanned skin.

What's the origin of the phrase 'As brown as a berry'?

From Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, (the Monk's Tale), 1386-1400:

The monk's taleHe was a lord full fat and in good point;
His eyen stepe and rolling in his head
That stemed as a fornice of a led;
His botes souple, his hors in gret estat,
Now certainly he was a sayre prelat.
He was not pale as a forpined gost;
A fat swan loved he best of any rost;

His palfrey was as broune as is a bery.

[Note: a palfrey is a horse]

See other 'as x as y similes'.

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