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Neck-verse (Psalm li. 1)

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“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” This verse was so called because it was the trial-verse of those who claimed benefit of clergy; and if they could read it, the ordinary of Newgate said, “Legit ut clerĭcus,” and the convict saved his neck, being only burnt in the hand and set at liberty.

1


“If a clerk had been taken

For stealing of bacon,

For burglary, murder, or rape.

If he could but rehearse

(Well prompt) his neck-verse,

He never could fail to escape.”


British Apollo (1710).

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ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

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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Near Side and Off Side
Neat as a Bandbox
Neat as a Pin, or Neat as a New Pin
Neat as Wax
Nebo
Nebraska, U.S
Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar
Necessity
Neck
Neck-verse (Psalm li. 1)
Neck-weed
Neck and Crop
Neck and Heels
Neck and Neck
Neck or Nothing
Necked
Necklace
Necromancy
Nectar
Neddy (a man’s name)