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Sirloin of Beef


A corruption of Surloin. (French, surlonge.) La partie du bæuf qui reste après quʹon en a coupé lʹépaule et la cuisse. In Queen Elizabeth’s “Progresses,” one of the items mentioned under March 31st, 1573, is a “sorloyne of byf.” Fuller tells us that Henry VIII. jocularly knighted the surloin. If so, James I, could claim neither wit nor originality when, at a banquet given him at Hogton Tower, near Blackburn, he said, “Bring hither that surloin, sirrah, for ʹtis worthy of a more honourable post, being, as I may say, not surloin, but sirloin.”

“Dining with the Abbot of Reading, he [Henry VIII.] ate so heartily of a loin of beef that the abbot said he would give 1,000 marks for such a stomach. ‘Done!ʹ said the king, and kept the abbot a prisoner in the Tower, won his 1,000 marks, and knighted the beef.”—See Fuller: Church History, vi. 2, p. 299 (1655).

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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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Single-Speech Hamilton
Sinister (Latin, on the left hand)
Sinning One’s Mercies
Sir Oracle
Sir Roger de Coverley
Sirloin of Beef
Sisyphus (Latin; Sisuphos, Greek)
Sit Bodkin (To)
Sit Out (To)
Sit Under … (To)
Sit Up (for anyone) (To)
Sit Upon (To)
Sit on the Rall or Fence (To)
Sit on Thorns (To) or on Tenterhooks
Sitting in Banco