Posted by Lewis on April 15, 2004
In Reply to: Big noter posted by MichaelFR on April 10, 2004
: : : I was recently considering someone close to me who is known frequently to 'big note' herself about many things that as far as I'm aware she hasn't even done. I know that to 'big note' is to brag or even mislead someone into thinking you're more special than you might really be in a given situation, but what is the origin of the term?
: : : Is the 'note' here from some gambling background, inferring you're offering bigger notes (dollars) than you've really got, or is it something to do with voice, eg. singing, words, etc.?
: : : Any help here greatly appreciated.
: : I've never heard that expression. Maybe it comes from "tooting (blowing) your own horn." In southern West Virginia, we called someone like that a "blow George."
: Here's what is printed in the Oxford English Dictionary under "noter"
: 1. A writer or recorder of musical notation. Cf. NOTE v.2 1. Obs. rare1.
: 1491 in L. T. Smith York Plays p. xix, Tixt-wryters, luminers, noters, turners, and florisschers.
: 2. A person who takes or writes notes; a recorder; an observer.
: 1589 J. RIDER Bibliotheca Scholastica, A breefe noter of the contentes of bookes, eclogarius. 1611 R. COTGRAVE Dict. French & Eng. Tongues, Remarquer, a marker, or noter of things. 1638 T. NABBES Covent Garden IV. ii. 46 Prethee be carefull, hee's a Cynick noter Of men and of their manners. 1755 JOHNSON Dict. Eng. Lang., Noter, he who takes notice. 1849 N. & Q. 3 Nov. 13/1 John Aubrey, the most noted Querist, if not the queerest Noter, of all English antiquaries. 1868 H. ALFORD Epimenides in Poet. Wks. (ed. 5) 194 Many a year His lids were closed: youth left him and he woke A careful noter of men's ways. 1890 J. R. LOWELL Poems III in Writings 66 One would think, though, a sharp-sighted noter she'd be Of all that's worth mentioning over the sea. 1963 Times 4 Feb. 3/1 A diligent noter stated that there were 55 line-outs in one half and 56 in the other, which was indicative enough. 2001 N.Y. Times (Nexis) 3 Apr. 3/6 We see firm denial of voyaging capability. Thor Heyderdahl [sic] was an early noter of this.
: 3. An annotator, a commentator. Cf. NOTIST n. Obs. rare.
: 1644 W. LAUD Wks. IV. 334 The beast is primarily the Roman empire, in the judgment of the Geneva noters. 1655 T. FULLER Church-hist. Brit. VII. 397 His Notes as the Noter, got perfection with His age.
: 4. Law. A person who formally witnesses or notes a protested bill. Cf. NOTE v.2 4b. Obs. rare1.
: 1849 T. DE QUINCEY in Blackwood's Mag. Oct. 488/2 You are made unhappy if noters and protesters are the sort of wretches whose..shadows darken the house of life.
bank or promissory notes are usually just called 'notes' - when people are out socially, sometimes people will ostentaciously flash their notes around and it was a common inducement to get served in a bar. some people would attract the attention of bar staff by waving notes much bigger than their order justified. to say "I don't have anything smaller" implies that one is cash-rich.
I would think a 'big noter' is somebody who flashes the cash.