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Give up the biscuit

Posted by Smokey Stover on October 07, 2007

In Reply to: Give up the biscuit posted by Mike on October 07, 2007

: Can anyone explain the phrase "His stomach was about to give up the biscuit big time"?

Mike's quotation is from The Lottery, a highly praised book by Canadian author Beth Goobie. I'm unable to copy the paragraph containing this sentence, which in the original reads: "Sal's stomach..." Sal, in the short excerpt that I read, appears to be a girl, who is having her period or is dizzy for some other reason, and is about to throw up--big time. Whether I read this correctly or not, this doesn't explain "give up the biscuit." She is certainly not throwing up because she has eaten biscuits.

The phrase "give up the biscuit" is popular among sports writers, who like to show their command of the most recent slang. Unfortunately I'm never sure I've understood what sports writers are saying. However, their use seems somewhat compatible with another use educed by Google, namely, to give up something valuable today in hopes of future benefits from the sacrifice.

In another use, entirely incomprehensible to me, some bloggers, posting on the subject of "Giving up wanking [i.e., masturbation] for Lent," are discussing the difficulty of doing this. One writes, "No, it can't be done, but I might give up the biscuit, though."

This last leaves me more in the dark than ever. What biscuit? Surely not the wafer at Communion (since wanking is technically a sin)?

I need enlightenment here as much as Mike does.