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Re: Cabbage phrases

Posted by ESC on June 02, 2010 at 15:15

In Reply to: Re: Cabbage onto posted by Victoria S Dennis on May 31, 2010 at 22:01:

: : Where does the phrase "to cabbage onto" something come from

: It's not one I've ever heard: but at a guess, perhaps it's a regional variant of "cotton on to"? "Cotton" was for a long time used to mean "something fluffy that easily sticks to things", so to "cotton on" to something was to pick it up, to stick to it. (VSD)

In one of life's little coincidences, I was just this morning updating the cabbage phrases my West Virginia Talk page. http://wva.homestead.com/WVaTalk.html For some reason people have been seeking out these expressions recently. Maybe they were used on some TV show?

glom onto/cabbage onto - Take something that doesn't belong to you or you don't deserve.
The origin of "cabbage onto" in the sense of grab something is unclear. The phrase, which goes back to at least 1806, can also mean steal. "Dictionary of American Regional English," Volume 1 by Frederic G. Cassidy (1985, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., and London, England, Page 498).

I don't chew my cabbage twice - Response when someone asks you to repeat what you just said. This phrase is probably a combination of: I don't chew my baccer (tobacco) twice and I don't boil my cabbage twice.

I don't boil my cabbage twice. 1888. "In the country, especially in the country towns of Pennsylvania, this is a very common expression, generally pronounced, 'I don't bile my cabbage twict.' It signifies that the person uttering it does not intend to repeat an observation." "Dictionary of American Regional English," Volume 1 by Frederic G. Cassidy (1985, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., and London, England, Page 609).