E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Days of inexperience, when persons are very green.
My salad days,
When I was green in judgment.
Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra, i. 5.
A penorth of salad oil. A strapping; a castigation. It is a joke on All Fools Day to send one to the saddlers for a penorth of salad oil. The pun is between salad oil, as above, and the French avoir de la salade, to be flogged. The French salader and saladc are derived from the salle or saddle on which schoolboys were at one time birched. A block for the purpose used to be kept in some of our public schools. Oudin translates the phrase Donner la salle à un escolier by Scopar un scolari innanzi à tutti gli altri. (Recherches Italiennes et Françoiscs, part ii. 508.)