Posted by Word Camel on January 31, 2005

In Reply to: Cabbaged posted by James Briggs on January 31, 2005

: : : Does anyone know where the word 'cabbaged' came from?

: : There's a country (West Virginia) saying about someone cabbaging on to something. "I left my magazine here and somebody cabbaged on to it." This reference says it means "to pilfer, steal. Latch on to." But it doesn't have an origin. "Dictionary of American Regional English," Volume II by Frederic G. Cassidy and Joan Houston Hall (1991, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., and London, England).

: It's also recorded in this sense - among many others - in my 1948 American Thesaurus of Slang. No origin, I'm afraid. It was also slang for 'cheat'.

How are you using cabbage? The OED has a few entries for cabbage as a verb. One means to grow to a head, another means to pilfer or appropriate surreptiously, as in to plagiarise and one means to crib. I think the origin will depend on how you are using it. If you can let me know, I'll see if I can fill in some of the blanks