(2 syl.) means literally, a coupon, or piece cut off (Latin, excido). It is a toll or duty levied on articles of home consumption—a slice cut off from these things for the national purse.
“Taxes on commodities are either on production within the country, or on importation into it, or on conveyance or sale within it; and are classed respectively as excise, customs, or tolls.” —Mill: Political Economy, book v. chap. iii. p. 562.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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