A "bit" in 1784?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Jan 23 15:22:49 UTC 2008

My interpretation also, though (surprisingly) early attestations of this usage seem to be lacking.  Cf. syn. "piece," but early exx. of that with an absolutely unequivocal sexual meaning also appear to be missing from the record.  Why?


Paul <paulzjoh at MTNHOME.COM> wrote:
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Subject: Re: A "bit" in 1784?

Perhaps just some nice word play; a bit as a monetary unit and a bit, as
I'll give you a bit of sex.

Joel S. Berson wrote:
> What do Jon, Jesse, and others make of this, from 1784?
> A young gentlewoman lately arrived from Barbadoes, came to Leadenhall
> market to buy a seragg of mutton for broth, for which the butcher
> asked nine-pence. That's too much said she, cut it off, Sir, and I'll
> give you a bit* for it. D-n your bit, Madam, I want none of your
> bits, replied the butcher, I've got a much better bit at home.
> *A bit in Barbadoes, is a piece of money valued at 7d.
> Is this bit (n.2) sense 4.f. (woman, girl), earliest cite 1923- or
> bit n.3 (uterus) latest cite c1466 -- or simply an uninteresting bit
> (n.2) sense 2 (morsel, tit bit)?
> Joel
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