Posted by RRC on July 05, 2006
In Reply to: 'You lot must take me for a mark'?? posted by Pat on July 05, 2006
: Anyone know the meaning behind the expression 'You lot must take me for a mark'?? The term Save the mark is used in Othello as I think an insult??? Is that the link.
In your quote, a mark is an easy target, someone gullible or easily fooled. From www.m-w.com: "an object of attack, ridicule, or abuse; specifically : a victim or prospective victim of a swindle" From www.etymonline.com: "The M.E. sense of "target" (c.1205) is the notion in marksman and slang sense "victim of a swindle" ."
I think Shakespeare's use "save the mark" in Romeo and Juliet is the older simpler target sense. "Save the mark" in Henry IV part I and "God bless the mark" in Othello, I'm not quite so sure of, perhaps we have a Shakespeare scholar handy?