lay-overs for meddlers

An answer to an impertinent or inquisitive child and others. The expression is found chiefly in the north of England, and in the US. Lay-overs, also contracted to layers or layors, are light blows or smacks given to the meddlesome (but see also quot. 1854). Cf. 1699 B. E. New Dict. Canting Crew s.v. Lare-over, Lare-over, said when the true name of the thing must (in decency) be concealed.

1785 F. GROSE Classical Dict. Vulgar Tongue s.v. Lareovers for medlers, Lareovers for medlers, an answer frequently given to children..as a rebuke for their impertinent curiosity.

1854 A. E. BAKER Glossary of Northamptonshire Words & Phrases I. 389 Lay-o’ers-for-meddlers,..a contraction of lay-overs, i.e. things laid over, covered up, or protected from meddlers.

1882 NODAL & MILNER Glossary of Lancashire Dialect 179 ‘What have yo’ getten i’ that bag?’ ‘Layers-for-meddlers—does ta want to know\?’

1936 M. MITCHELL Gone with Wind xxxii. When they asked who was going to lend the money she said: ‘Layovers catch meddlers,’ so archly they all laughed.

1945 B. MILLHAUSER Whatever goes Up xv. ‘Know his address?’ ‘I certainly do. Ninety-seven Gramercy Park North, New York.’ She closed the door firmly. ‘Layovers for meddlers,’ she muttered.


Proverbs new dictionary.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • lay-overs — see lay overs for meddlers …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • lay — see it is easier to raise the devil than to lay him lay overs for meddlers …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, Thematic Index — absence absence makes the heart grow fonder he who is absent is always in the wrong the best of friends must part blue are the hills that are far away distance lends enchantment to the view out of sight, out of mind …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • meddler — see lay overs for meddlers …   Proverbs new dictionary


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