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Slate Club

(A). A sick benefit club for working-men. Originally the names of the members were entered on a folding slate; in the universities the names of members are marked on a board, or on boards; hence such expressions as “his name is on the boards,” “I have taken my name off the boards.”

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Slate Club from Infoplease:

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