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Dab

Clever, skilled, as “a dab-hand at it”; a corrupt contraction of the Latin adeptus (an adept). “Dabster” is another form. Apt is a related word.

An Eton stripling, training for the law.
A dunce at learning, but a dab at taw (marbles).

Anon: Logic; or, The Biter Bit

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