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Victorian Slang of the Week


cave–I think most people have heard of this, but it’s worth noting that it started in Victorian American. 1) To surrender, yield, often as “cave in”. I’ve actually used this often in my books. It’s from 1844 on and there are a bunch of references, which means it was probably used frequently. From my book The Wild Half, “He pretty much figured that if Jim would take it easy and not press Melinda too hard, she’d cave in no time.” 2)to collapse. 1861 and on. 3)to die. 1863, used as “cave in” but there is only one reference for this specific definition.

1 Comment

  1. I had no idea this usage was this old. I would have thought very recent. Glad I can use it now in my 19th Century historicals.

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