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Eligibles

and Detrimentals. Sons which are socially good and bad parties, to be introduced to daughters with a view of matrimony.

“The County Families of the United Kingdom is useful to all who are concerned with questions of precedence, and especially useful to mothers who desire to distinguish between `eligibles' and `detrimentals.' ” —Notes and Queries, February 1st, 1886, p. 119.

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