I was recently given a Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins. Shockingly, I had never seen one of these before. I actually looked that title up in Amazon. Amazon’s book description read, “Anyone interested in the English language will be fascinated by — and then obsessed with — this dictionary that reads like an erudite gossip column for the city of words.” This basically describes how I felt when I opened the book. So since, I feel this way, I think others will too! I’m going to start a reoccurring feature that profiles a phrase and its usage.
So, today I opened up the book to this phrase: Glove Money which simply put is a bribe. Apparently, in ancient days it was the custom in British law for the client to present a pair of gloves to the attorney who agreed to handle the case. On a famous occasion, a Mrs. Croaker gave Sir Thomas Moore, then the Lord Chancellor, a pair of gloves which contained 40 pounds. The Lord retained the gloves in accordance with the custom, but returned the money.
Here it is in a sentence: If anyone wants to give me some glove money this holiday season, I’m not opposed to it, but I have no idea what you would want in return.