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Apples, eggs & nuts

Posted by R. Berg on April 09, 2007

In Reply to: Apples, eggs & nuts posted by R. Berg on April 09, 2007

: : : : I recently aquired a very old book of english proverbs, & while most are pretty well self explanetary there was one in particular that seemed to defy all attempts to explain it, the book was printed approximately 1908. The proverb is "Apples, eggs & nuts may be eaten after sluts" My mind is still boggeling after that one, the only possible explanation I can think of is that because sluts generally don't charge for their favors so with the money you'd save you could afford these types of food,perhaps. Anybody out there who can cast some light on this I would be most appreciative.

: : : Well, sluts may have meant something different. I am going to take a guess. A slut would be a woman of loose morals and, even more shocking, a woman who wasn't much concerned with housekeeping and cleanliness. But you could chance eating the above foods because they are kind of self contained and less likely to be contaminated. How's that for a guess?

: : Two mountain phrase references say "slut" refers to a makeshift lamp made from hog grease in a saucer or tin plus a bit of rag for a wick. "Smoky Mountain Voices: A Lexicon of Southern Appalachian Speech Based on the Research of Horace Kephart," edited by Harold J. Farwell Jr., and J. Karl Nicholas (University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky., 1993). And
: : Southern Mountain Speech by Cratis D. Williams (Berea College Press, Ky., 1992)

: I think ESC's first guess is correct and the proverb is a health guideline. Early meanings of "slut" include a woman with poor personal hygiene, a kitchen maid. The link below goes to a Google search. The first two links that Google finds for "proverbs apples eggs nuts sluts" are highly relevant. However, both go to pages accessible only for a fee. The first one classifies your saying as a medical proverb. ~rb

By feeding Google a few words at a time, I pulled out the explanation of this proverb at the second site. It is "It is always safe to eat apples, eggs, and nuts because they can't be tampered with." That site has a different version of the proverb: "Apples, eggs and nuts, you may eat though dressed by sluts." The saying was popular in the 16th century.

I'm not promoting this idea as medical advice. A disgruntled cook could as easily spit in an omelet as anywhere else. ~rb

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