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Take boards

Posted by ESC on January 13, 2004

In Reply to: Take boards posted by Chris henao on January 12, 2004

: Does anyone know the school where the order "take boards" is used or originated from???
: I know that it now refers to physicians and other medical practicioners but was curious as to the origin.

I don't know if this is the origin. But an old reference book I have says:

"Board -- The 'boards,' or 'college boards,' in the English universities, are long wooden tablets on which the names of the members of each college are inscribed according to seniority, generally hung up in the buttery...Similar to this was the list of students which was formerly kept at Harvard College, and probably at Yale..." A "buttery" is "an apartment in a house where butter, milk, provisions, and utensils are kept. In some colleges, a room where liquors, fruit, and refresments are kept for sale to the students..." From "A Collection of College Words and Customs", Cambridge, published by John Bartlett, 1851. A handwritten notation in the book says "by B.H. Hall."