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Bed-rock

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American slang for one’s last shilling. A miner’s term, called in England the “stone-head,” and in America, the “Bed-rock,” the hard basis rock. When miners get to this bed the mine is exhausted. “Iʹm come down to the bed-rock,” i.e. my last dollar.

“‘No, no!ʹ continued Tennessee’s partner, hastily, ‘Iʹll play this yer hand alone. Iʹve come down to the bed-rock; it’s just this: Tennessee, thar, has played it pretty rough and expensive, like, on a stranger… Now what’s the fair thing? Some would say more, and some would say less. Here’s seventeen hundred dollars in coarse gold and a watch—it’s about all my pile—and call it square.ʹ”—Bret Harte: Tennessee’s Partner.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Bedell
Beder
Bedford
Bedford Level
Bedfordshire
Bediver
Bedlam
Bedlamite
Bedouins [Bed-wins]
Bedreddin Hassan
Bed-rock
Bedver
Bee
Bee
Bee-line
Bees
Beef, Ox
Beefeaters
Beef-steak Club
Beefington
Beelzebub