Posted by Bob on May 21, 2001
In Reply to: Yes, but.... posted by Bruce Kahl on May 21, 2001
: : : I heard a word in a cop show the other nite--"...by the way, thanks for the grub."--referring to a just finished meal in a restaurant.
: : : Anybody know the origin of "grub"?
: : : There is a Middle English word "grubben" and Old English "grafan" meaning "to dig" which can be linked to the word "grave" as in final resting place.
: : : Webster's has grub as a verb as "to dig in the ground especially for something that is difficult to find or extract"--so could "grub" be digging around in the dirt for a potato or carrot?
: : : Anybody?
: : : thanx
: : : bk
: : "Whistlin' Dixie" by Robert Hendrickson has "GRUB UP -- To dig out. 'I been grubbing up a clump of willows outen my spring pasture for fifteen years.' (William Faulkner, 'The Hamlet' 1940)
: Thanx Ms. ESC!
: Yes, grub has a sense of digging.
: But how does grub mean food?
: I have looked at the word itself "food"--Middle English fode, from Old English fOda; akin to Old High German fuotar food, fodder, Latin panis bread, pascere to feed but nothing at all to link it to "grub".
On a bit of a tangent, I learned years ago that Australian aborigines eat "witchety (sp?) grubs," which are insect larvae that live under the bark of certain trees. When I heard this, my response was that "they have a different definition of grubstake than we do."