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Black Letter Day

An unlucky day; one to be recalled with regret. The Romans marked their unlucky days with a piece of black charcoal, and their lucky ones with white chalk.

Black-letter dogs.
Literary antiquaries who poke and pry into every hole and corner to find out black-letter copies of books.

By fell black-letter dogs ...
That from Gothic kennels eager strut.

Matthias: Pursuits of Literature.

Black Lists
Lists of insolvency and bankruptcy, for the private guidance of the mercantile community. (See Black Books .)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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