[Ads-l] jawbone = credit

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 11 16:49:56 UTC 2017

Stefan Dollinger of The Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles
posted "jawbone" = 'credit' as the "Canadian Word of the Week" on Twitter.
DCHP-2 has a Canadian cite from 1865. Jesse Sheidlower pointed out that OED
has this from 1862 -- referring to California, though it's labeled as
originally Canadian:

1862   Times 21 Oct. 9/4   Individuals who, in digger's parlance, live on
jawbone (credit).

OED likely got this from Hotten's 1864 slang dictionary:


Here's a slight antedating from a Canadian source.

The Daily British Colonist (Victoria, BC), 10 July 1862, p. 3, col. 1
He must, therefore, _hunt the lead_, which occupation is now engaging the
time and labor of all who can afford the luxury, i.e., who have sufficient
means or a good _jawbone_ (credit) for their subsistence _ad interim_.


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

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