Antedating of "panhandling" 1885
SClements at NEO.RR.COM
Fri Apr 2 21:42:00 UTC 2004
OED has 1897 for "pan-handler" and M-W 1903 for panhandle as a verb.
Barry found an 1898 cite http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0307D&L=ads-l&P=R1299 , a story which implied that the term arose in San Francisco in the mid 1880's, suggesting it arose referring to ruffians. If it did, then the following cite 'went East' rather quickly, and instantly took on the modern meaning. :(
>From American Periodical Series(Proquest), 17 Oct, 1885 _The National Police Gazette_ page 2
<<New York is rather slow when playing baseball for the championship, but get her started at panhandling for a pedestal or a monument and she will capture the pennant every time.>>
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