Posted by Bruce Kahl on October 24, 2002
In Reply to: DOLE posted by Adrian Parker on October 24, 2002
: I understood that the word DOLE in the phrase 'On the Dole' originated from the UK government 'Department of Labour & Education' (or similar), where the unemployed registered for and received benefits. Hence the expression 'doling out' probably also originated from the handouts from the department.
Main Entry: dole
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English dAl portion -- more at DEAL
Date: before 12th century
1 archaic : one's allotted share, portion, or destiny
2 a : a giving or distribution of food, money, or clothing to the needy : a grant of government funds to the unemployed b : something distributed at intervals to the needy; also : HANDOUT 1 c : something portioned out bit by bit