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Pluck

.

To reject a candidate for literary honours because he is not up to the required mark. The rejected candidate is said to be plucked.

When degrees are conferred the name of each person is read out before he is presented to the Vice-Chancellor. The proctor used at one time to walk once up and down the room, and anyone who objected to the degree being conferred might signify his dissent by plucking or twitching the proctor’s gown. This was occasionally done by tradesmen to whom the candidate was in debt; but now all persons likely to be objected to, either by tradesmen or examiners, know it before-hand, and keep away. They are virtually plucked, but not really so.

A case of pluck. An instance of one who has been plucked: as “Tom Jones is a case of pluck,” i.e. is a plucked man.

A man of pluck. Of courage or spirit. The pluck is the heart, liver, and whatever else is “plucked” away from the chest of a sheep or hog. We also use the expressions bold heart, lily-livered, a man of another kidney, bowels of mercy, a vein of fun, it raised his bile, etc. (See Liver.)

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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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Pliny’s Doves
Plith
Plon-plon
Plot
Plotcock
Plough
Plough Monday
Plover
Plowden
Plowman
Pluck
Pluck his Goose
Plucked Pigeon (A)
Plugson of Undershot
Plum
Plume Oneself (To)
Plumes
Plumper (A)
Plunger
Plus Ultra
Plush (John)

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