"[all] found"

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sat May 14 19:17:25 UTC 2011

A very murky recollection here:
The drunken copyist in Bartleby the Scrivener puts a ginger snap on a letter in mistake for a stamp, and when reproved, says that it was generous of him to "find" the office in postage.

Not so murky thoughts:
1) Here we have a newspaper quoting from the steamboat ads which offered passage up the Hudson to Albany for "$1 and found", meaning with a meal included in the fare:
        Cheap Travelling. -- Cheap enough, and cheap do they feel who travel about these days.  "One dollar and found," or rather one dollar and lost; for one can neither keep his trunk nor his senses.  Job must have written his third and fourth chapters after having travelled in a North river steamboat.  Only fancy four hundred and fifty Christian men, women, brats and bandboxes, all crammed into one boat, puffing, squalling, scolding and fighting for their "found;" which said word, being interpreted, meaneth bread, potatoes, pig, beef, and brandy.  Such a crowd, in so small a space, does away with all individuality -- a man does not know whether he is himself or something else: "Me and the he-goat," says Billy Lackaday, "did'nt know which was which."  All that a "one dollar and found" man knows, is that he is part of a great many-headed monster, compared with which the Siamese boys are nothing at all.  We saw a woman toss off a stiff glass of brandy and water at one gulp, !
 and sma
ck her lips like a Kentucky stage-driver.  She evidently mistook herself for the red-nosed old reprobate who sat beside her.  However, she got a glass of grog by the mistake.
[This rant goes on for several more paragraphs.  There was a price war going on at the time.]
Morning Courier & New-York Enquirer, November 17, 1829, p. 2, col. 1

2) The OED has (had, as of ca. 1910?) the word "finding" in the sense of general "Keep, maintenance, provision, support" as obsolete since the late 16th C., except for several very specific circumstances.  Somehow, I don't think that that is right, though running through my notes from 1801 to 1830 doesn't turn up anything that proves that I am right.  But perhaps I am thinking of statements like "Laurel hired Hardy to work at $8 a week, finding him in dinner and tea".
finding, sense #4:
†b. Keep, maintenance, provision, support. Obs.
1393    Langland Piers Plowman C. vii. 293   [To] haue my fode and my fyndynge of false menne wynnynges.
c1449    R. Pecock Repressor (1860) 305   He myȝte..haue askid his lijflode and fynding of hem to whom he prechid.
1470–85    Malory Morte d'Arthur vii. i,   That he hadde al maner of fyndynge as though he were a lordes sone.
1565–73    T. Cooper Thesaurus,   Annona, finding in meate, drinke or apparell.

c. in pl.
(a) (See quots.) Also attrib. in finding-store (U.S.).
1846    J. E. Worcester Universal Dict. Eng. Lang. (citing Chute),   Findings pl., the tools and materials used by shoemakers.
1858    P. L. Simmonds Dict. Trade Products,   Findings, the wax, thread and tools which a journeyman shoemaker has to supply himself with for his work.
1858    P. L. Simmonds Dict. Trade Products,   Finding-stores, an American name for what are termed in England grindery-warehouses; shops where shoemakers' tools, etc. are vended.

 (b) (See quot. 1939.) U.S.
1896    Godey's Mag. Feb. 222/2   The cost of findings for a waist.
1939    M. B. Picken Lang. Fashion 57/2   Findings, threads, tapes, buttons, bindings, hooks and eyes, slide fasteners, Featherbone, belting, braids, and other sewing essentials used in garment making; carried in notion departments.
1971    Lebende Sprachen XVI. 11/1   US findings-BE/US sewing things.


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

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
Date: Saturday, May 14, 2011 10:58 am
Subject: "[all] found"

> It was a chore to find "found" = "room and board" in the OED.  It's
> under "find, v." (Sept. 2010), sense 18.a., as "all found (also,
> chiefly U.S., simply found) (in regard to servants): with all
> customary articles of food, etc., provided."  (I ingeniously thought
> to look for the phrase "dollars and found", and found exactly one quotation.)
> Should the "U.S., simply found" be given its own entry, as "found",
> presumably a "n."?  (And some given "found" these days would resent
> being classed as "servants".)
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list