Sunday, February 13, 2011

The books of knowledge

The Widow Blackacre, in Wycherley, The Plain Dealer:
O do not squeeze wax, son. Rather go to ordinaries and bawdyhouses than squeeze wax. If thou dost that, farewell the goodly manor of Blackacre with all its woods, underwoods and appurtenances whatever. Oh, Oh! (Weeps)
From Green's Dictionary of Slang: "squeeze-wax (n.) a surety for a loan; 'a good-natured foolish fellow, ready to become security for another, under hand and seal' (Grose)"; the first example, from a 1698 dictionary of cant, "Squeezing of Wax, being Bound for any Body."

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