Rich pickings

Posted by Bob on September 18, 2005

In Reply to: Rich pickings posted by Bob on September 18, 2005

: : : Can anyone enlighten me as to the origin of the phrase "rich pickings"?

: : : My guess is that it refers to the (mainly) women who would during the nepoleonic wars (after a battle had ended) trawl the dead bodies left on battlefields for anything of value.

: : I associate it with gold mining, but I don't know that that's its origin.

: It's the opposite of "slim pickings," meaning not much to choose from. I always associate it with food harvesting (picking fruit off a tree, for example) but I have no evidence to support this.

Well. Now. I've done a little more research, and I can't find support for my harvesting origin ... except as picking through leftovers is harvesting.