on our "crumbs"

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Wed Mar 15 20:26:18 UTC 2006

        The man who is too poor to pay a shilling or two to visit our theatres,
can gratify his appetite for music, at least, if he will take the
trouble to walk down opposite Peale's, or the American Museum.  There he
may hear the most inspiring strains free of all cost.  How often have we
made these places a resort when on our "crumbs!"
        The Whip, October 29, 1842, p. 2, col. 3

There is nothing like this in HDAS or OED; Cassell's 2nd has crumbs,
sense 1, a small piece of money, US, 1920-1950, but lacks this
expression; still, the sense fits: "down to our last few coins".


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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