"share and fare alike"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Sep 9 19:07:50 UTC 2011

A friend informs me that she read  "share and fare alike" in Charles
Kingsley's "Westward Ho" -- she's right -- and wondered about that
vs. "share and share alike".

About 76 hits in GBooks, vs. 172,000 for "share and share alike".
Kinsgley wrote "But if any man will be true brother to me, true
brother to him I'll be, come wreck or prize, storm or calm, salt
water or fresh, victuals or none, share and fare alike; and here's my
hand upon it ..."  1855.  Nothing earlier.

"Share and share alike" goes back perhaps to 1690 in GBooks:

"I will and bequeath to my daughter, Abigail E. Griffiths, so much of
my household goods as she may desire and the remainder of them to my
daughter Sarah Elizabeth and Gwyneann [bless those Welsh] share and
share alike."  Newydd ein Harglwydd an Hiachawdwr Iesu
Grist.  Printiedig yn Llundain gan Charles Bill ... 1690.  Actually a
cover page in fascimile, I think.  AKA The Pedigree of William
Griffith, John Griffith [&c, &c] who removed to the county of
Chester, Pennsylvania, in the early part of the XVIIIth Century,
comp. by Thomas Allen Glenn, printed Philadelphia; and the preface is
dated 1905, South Wales.  So I'm not sure the quotation is in the 1690 book.

There are a number of quotations in the first four decades of the
18th century.  And who knows how early in wills.

So -- Was "share and fare" invented by Kingsley?  Did he intend a
variant meaning -- referring specifically to sustenance -- from
"share and share"?


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

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