Posted by ESC on January 29, 2002
In Reply to: "Had the biscuit" posted by B. Marlin on January 28, 2002
: My 9-year-old accepts, with some puzzlement, my use of the phrase "had the biscuit" to mean something that has seen a better day. Anyone know where this expression comes from?
Where is this phrase used -- what part of the country?
A guess regarding the origin: could it have anything to do with the phrase "Well, that takes the biscuit (or cake)!" meaning "that takes the prize." "1897 Siler & Houseman 'Fight of the Century' 45 'The winner will be entitled to the belt, the biscuit and the whole works.'" From "Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, A-G" by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994.
Something took the prize but now its glory days are over?
Other noteworthy biscuit phrases: hot in the biscuit (overeager, excited) and catch with a biscuit (to catch with incriminating evidence). Also from the Random House Historical Dictionary.