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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Daylight robbery

These bricked up windows (and additional artwork) can be found on the Jerwood Space, a rehersal/studio space in Union Street, Southwark. I'm in two minds whether the windows were bricked up for utility purposes, or to reduce their Window Tax. That was a tax current until the 1850's paid on the number of windows you had. Many Georgian properties have windows bricked up as a result, hence a possible source of the expression "It's daylight robbery". I suspect it was just to convert its use, though.

posted by Ham at 00:42 -- Comments here: 2

Comments on "Daylight robbery"


Anonymous imajoebob said ... (01:35) : 

Don't return that etymology book just yet. "Daylight Robbery" is a 20th C term, and refers to brazen overcharging for goods or services (aka highway robbery). It most likely refers to the brazenness of attempting a robbery in broad daylight, or compares the exorbitant prices to a thief operating in the night.

On a more cheery note, I've enjoyed the recent pictures that highlight my old stomping grounds. I lived on Great Dover Street and travelled to LSE everyday. And even my vacations to the Loire Valley! (not coincidental)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (15:02) : 

I think it would be fair to say that a link with the window tax is unproven, but a brief Google finds examples of "daylight robbery" being used in this sense (blatant overcharging, not just theft in the daytime) as early as 1863.

Someone should tell the OED, whose earliest citation is from 1949!


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Name: Ham Location: London, United Kingdom View my complete profile