It is said that no sort of food causes so much thirst as cabbage, especially that called colewort. Pausanias tells us it first sprang from the sweat of Jupiter, some drops of which fell on the earth. Coelius, Rhodiginus, Ovid, Suidas, and others repeat the same fable.
“Some drops of sweat happening to light on the earth produced what mortals call cabbage.”-
R. ibelais: Pantagruel, book iv. (Prologue).
(To). To filch. Sometimes a tailor is called “cabbage,” from his pilfering cloth given him to make up. Thus in Motteux's Rabelais, iv. 52, we read of “Poor Cabbage's hair.” (Old French, cabas, theft, verb cabasser; Dutch, kabassen; Swedish, grabba; Danish, griber, our grab,)
“Your tailor, instead of shreds, cabbages whole yards of cloth.”— Arbuthnot's John Bull.
Cabbage is also a common schoolboy term for a literary crib, or other petty theft.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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