Fish or Cut Bait (1868)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Mon Dec 2 03:20:23 UTC 2002

SMART ALECK--Columbia University has the GRUB STREET JOURNAL, but not from 1735.  I don't have time right now to track down the original note.

I'M FROM MISSOURI--I didn't find it in the DENVER POST from 1897 (I had looked many years ago), but I did find a poem that results in this note.

   11 July 1868, NEW YORK TIMES, pg. 8:
   Ex-councilman MERRITT was in favor of indorsing the nomination: they must either fish, or cut bait, and as they were not large enough to fish they must be content to cut bait for Tammany.

   26 April 1897, DENVER POST,pg. 4, col. 2 poem:
_Fish, Cut Bait, or Go Ashore._

(The online NEW YORK TIMES, with its reference to NYC politics, was the earliest place I found the phrase, but you can check again.  I searched for "cut bait"--ed.)

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