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Re: I've had a bait of it

Posted by ESC on July 06, 2005

In Reply to: Re: I've had a bait of it posted by R. Berg on July 06, 2005

: : : : Wondering about the derivation of "I've had a bate of it." Recently heard in N. Carolina. The usage was to indicate the person had had enough of something.

: : : I've heard that and thought it would be easy to find in one of my southern dictionaries. No luck yet.

: : Found it under "bait."

: : bait n. -- food, generally a large amount (I eat a bait of black eyed peas and hog jowls New Year's.) From "Southern Mountain Speech" by Cratis D. Williams (Berea College Press, Ky., 1992)

: : bait -- n. a full meal. "I et me a bait o' ramps, and tasted them for a week atterwards." Also S. Car. "I et me a bait" literally means a mere snack, but jocosely it may admit a hearty meal... From "Smoky Mountain Voices: A Lexicon of Southern Appalachian Speech Based on the Research of Horace Kephart," edited by Harold J. Farwell Jr., and J. Karl Nicholas (University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky., 1993).

: : (In W.Va., we said, "I ate a bite." Meaning a snack.)

: Did "bait" in this sense come from "bite"? --rb

I am wondering if there is a connection.

Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: 2bait
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old Norse beit pasturage & beita food; akin to Old English bItan to bite