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"Yours" as closing

Posted by R. Berg on January 15, 2003

In Reply to: "Played like a fiddle" and "yours truly" origins posted by Michael A. Jundi on January 14, 2003

: Two real problem origins for me, can someone help? I'm a librarian in Ohio, USA in a High School and cannot find an answer to either of these phrases.

: Played like a fiddle-meaning to be manipulated artfully.

: Yours truly-as in the sign off of a letter.

: When/where did this begin in our language???

The Oxford English Dictionary's earliest example of "yours" in the closing of a letter is dated about 1430. There have been many variations.
"Yours to death, and after death, Luke Kirbie"
"I depend on your mighty Talent . . . and on that Score, remain, Most Lovingly Yours."
Presumably the early examples were written in England.

I couldn't find anything about the "fiddle" expression.