Can You Eat Crow?

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Can You Eat Crow?

Lake Mahopac was so much crowded, the past season, or, rather, the hotels in its immediate vicinity were, that the farm-houses were filled with visitors. One of the worthy farmers residing there, it appears, was especially worried to death by boreders [sic]. — They found fault with his table — this thing was bad and wasn't fit to eat — and at last the old fellow got so tired of trying to please them, that he undertook as the last resource to reason the matter with them.

"Darn it," said old Isaac, one day, "what a fuss you're making; I can eat anything."
"Can you eat crow?" said one of his young boarders.
"Yes, I kin eat crow."
"Bet you a hat," said his guest.

The bet was made, a crow caught and nicely roasted, but before serving up, they contrived to season it with a good dose of Scotch snuff.

Isaac sat down to the crow. He took a good bite, and began to chew away. "Yes," he said, "I kin eat crow (another bite and awful face,) I kin eat crow, (symptoms of nausea,) I kin eat crow; but I'll be darned if I hanker after it." — Isaac bolted.'


  • Originally printed in Saturday Evening Post (1839-1885), Philadelphia; Nov 2, 1850; Vol. XXX., Iss. 0, Article 1 5 — No Title; page 4.
  • Popik, Barry A., Studies in Slang, Gerald Leonard Cohen 2006, pp. 119-122. Re-printed from Comments on Etymology, October 2003, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 7-9.

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