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Room and Board

Posted by R. Berg on September 24, 2002

In Reply to: Room and Board posted by Nancy K on September 24, 2002

: Does anyone know the origin of "room and board"?

From the Oxford English Dictionary's entry for "board," noun, sense 7:

"Food served at the table; daily meals provided in a lodging or boarding-house according to stipulation; the supply of daily provisions; entertainment. Often joined with 'bed' or 'lodging'.
c1386 CHAUCER . . . Sche wolde suffre him no thing for to pay For bord ne clothing. 1465 MARG. PASTON 'Lett'. . . . He payth for hys borde wykely . . ."

The OED says this sense of "board" developed from the sense of a table used for meals. It doesn't give an example with the exact wording "room and board."

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