[Ads-l] to look good enough to eat

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sun Sep 24 16:32:08 UTC 2017

Here is a 50 year antedating of this expression.

            From the diary of Mary Bishop Cushman, 19, who was travelling
from Coventry, her home in Connecticut, to Otsego county, N. Y; the passage
is from 1795.

we then returnd to Mr. Elderkins there I found my Father and Boza Bliss was
quite glad to see him indeed he is very agreeable no wonder Laura love's --
he gave me an invite to go to meeting.  We then returned to dress in an
hour he came again and look good enough to eat     (p. 264)

            Jamie O. Shafer .  "A Propper Yankee in Central New York: The
Diary of Mary Bishop Cushman, 1795-1797."  New York History, Vol. 79, No. 3
(July, 1998), pp. 255-312

 d. to look (also to be) good enough to eat: (chiefly of a person) to be
very attractive or alluring.
1844    ‘J. Slick’ High Life N.Y. (new ed.) I. xiii. 202   There was a gal
close by her dressed out to kill, her shoes were tied on with red
ribbons..that looked good enough to eat.
1895    Goshen (Indiana) Mid-week News 15 May 4/5   ‘You look good enough
to eat!’ Ah, her fatal gift of beauty!
1980    N. Christensen tr. K. Thorup Baby i. 7   ‘She's good enough to
eat,’ Suzie agreed, and she watched the couples on the dance floor.
2007    Times 1 Dec. (Knowledge section) 25/3   The entire cast looks good
enough to eat in Aurore Popineau's costumes.

George A. Thompson
The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998.

But when aroused at the Trump of Doom / Ye shall start, bold kings, from
your lowly tomb. . .
L. H. Sigourney, "Burial of Mazeen", Poems.  Boston, 1827, p. 112

The Trump of Doom -- also known as The Dunghill Toadstool.  (Here's a
picture of his great-grandfather.)

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list