Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Cabbage (To).

 Cabbage.Cabinet Ministers. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Cabbage (To).
To filch. Sometimes a tailor is called “cabbage,” from his pilfering cloth given him to make up. Thus in Motteux’s Rabelais, iv. 52, we read of “Poor Cabbage’s hair.” (Old French, cabas, theft, verb cabasser; Dutch, kabassen; Swedish, grabba; Danish, griber, our grab.)   1
        “Your tailor, instead of shreds, cabbages whole yards of cloth.”—Arbuthnot’s John Bull.
   Cabbage is also a common schoolboy term for a literary crib, or other petty theft.   2

 Cabbage.Cabinet Ministers. 


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