Posted by ESC on November 14, 1999

In Reply to: Layrolls to catch meddlers posted by Bruce Kahl on November 14, 1999

: : As a small child when I asked my Grandmother, What is that?", she would often reply, "Layrolls to catch meddlers.". What is a layroll (spelling?) and what is the orgin of this phrase?

: : Please email to: Bejeweledi

: It is "layovers to catch meddlers on".
: I don't know the history or origin but the "layover" would be an item placed by a parent or grandparent in or on an out of the way or hard to reach shelf to "catch a meddler" or inquisitive kid looking for a preview of a Christmas present.

LAYROLLS (LAYOVER) TO CATCH MEDDLERS: This phrase is a new one on me:
Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins by William and Mary Morris states: "layover to catch meddlers is a dialect variant of a very common answer used by adults to evade a direct answer to children's questions. Instead of saying to the child. 'It's none of your business,' he would be told, 'It's layover to catch meddlers.' So what's a layover? you ask. A layover is a trap for bears or other unwary animals, made of a pit covered with boughs. And a meddler, of course, is a person who interferes in other people's business. The phrase was recorded in Eastern and Southern states as long ago as 1890. It also appears as larovers for meddlers, layos to catch meddlers and even as a single word, larofamedlers."