Antedatings of "chalk", verb
hugovk at GMAIL.COM
Sun Apr 28 10:54:16 UTC 2013
chalk, verb (OED 3b: To write up in chalk (a record, esp. of credits given); to score, 1597).
The London adviser and guide - Page 27 - by John Trusler - 1586:
Bakers, like milkwomen, will sometimes leave tallies, on which they daily chalk what is left, but a mark is easily added, while the servant is inattentive, which robs you of the price of a loaf, or a pint of milk. These marks are sometimes made on the door-post, oftener without the door than within ; of course an addition can be made unknown to you servant, unknown to your servant, as the baker or milk woman passes the door ; or they may be wholly rubbed out, by wanton boys or others, as is frequently the case ; and when the score is gone, the baker or milk woman may charge what they please ; and as they can sell a loaf or a pint of milk to those who pay ready money, and secrete that money ; to conceal this fraud from their masters, they will score it up to their customers on credit.
That's a literal chalking. Possible antedatings for figurative chalkings:
Mrs. Halliburton's Troubles, Volume 2 - Mrs. Henry Wood - 1863:
"The condescension! I thought only plebeians did that. James is there a piece of chalk in the house? I must chalk that up."
The bane of a life - Thomas Wright - 1870:
"Holloa, Mr Mason ! they got you all right, I see. You may chalk this down to me ; and now I think I'm a little more tan level with you.
And an early example specifically of "chalking it to experience" in The Sun (New York [N.Y.]), 22 March 1909:
"Chalk this down as a new experience for me." said the business man.
Links to sources:
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
More information about the Ads-l