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Rum

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Queer, quaint, old-fashioned. This word was first applied to Roman Catholic priests, and subsequently to other clergymen. Thus Swift speaks of “a rabble of tenants and rusty dull rums” (country parsons). As these “rusty dull rums” were old-fashioned and quaint, a “rum fellow” came to signify one as odd as a “rusty dull rum.”

⁂ Professor De Morgan thought that the most probable derivation was from booksellers trading with the West Indies. It is said that in the eighteenth century they bartered books for rum, but set aside chiefly such books as would not sell in England.

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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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Ruffian Hall
Rufus (The Red)
Ruggiero
Rukenaw (Dame)
Rule (St.) or St. Regulus
Rule, Britannia
Rule Nisi
Rule of Thumb (The)
Rule of the Road (The)
Rule the Roost (To)
Rum
Ruminate
Rumolt
Rump-fed
Rump Parliament
Rumpelstilzchen [Rumple-stilts-skin]
Rumping Dozen
Run
Run Amuck
Run a Rig (To)
Run Riot (To)

See Also:

Rum