In sewing and haberdashery, notions are small objects or accessories, including items that are sewn or otherwise attached to a finished article, such as buttons, snaps, and collar stays. Notions also include the small tools used in sewing, such as needles, thread, pins, marking pens, elastic, and seam rippers. The noun is almost always used in the plural. The term is chiefly in American English (the equivalent British term is haberdashery). It was also formerly used in the phrase "Yankee notions", meaning American products. A fabric store will have a section or department devoted to notions, and a spool of thread is considered a notions, but one cannot ask to "purchase a notions" without greater specificity as to which one.
- Both the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster's 9th Collegiate Dictionary list this sense as plural only, but The Fashion Dictionary main entry is singular.
- Picken, Mary Brooks, The Fashion Dictionary, Funk and Wagnalls, 1957, p. 235.
- Oxford English Dictionary, "notion, n.", meaning 11
- Hardware Dealers' Magazine. 25. 1906. p. 472.
There was a time when inventions of this country, especially those of a real meritorious nature, were referred to in foreign countries as "Yankee notions".
- Robert Hendrickson (30 October 2000). The Facts on File Dictionary of American Regionalisms. Infobase. p. 327. ISBN 978-1-4381-2992-1.
Yankee notions: These were originally the mirrors, needles, beads, pocket knives and the like that Yankee sailing ships traded with for native goods
- Merriam Webster's 9th Collegiate Dictionary, under "Notion".