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Brass

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Either

  • A gold coloured metal that needs polishing often.
  • The stuff that Cap Badges were made of.
  • Slang for Pistol/Rifle Cartridges.
  • Money (the old British threepenny piece was circa 60% brass).
  • Nerve/cheek. As in: having the brass balls to haggle with a stall holder, get him to charge only 15 quid (he was asking 20), then give him a 20-quid note & ask for change. (True story.)
  • Generic term for senior officers (used to be called "brasshats" owing to all the gold braid hanging off 'em).