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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. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=sAsaAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA207&dq=%22daylight+robbery%22

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