bachelor's fare

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

A simple meal not requiring any cooking, such as bread and cheese, is known as “bachelor’s fare”

A reference to the meals that bachelors supposedly have, because they either cannot cook or are not inclined to do so.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

bachelor's fare (uncountable)

  1. (dated) A simple meal that requires no cooking, such as bread and cheese.
    • 1738, Simon Wagstaff [pseudonym; Jonathan Swift], A Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation, According to the Most Polite Mode and Method Now Used at Court, and in the Best Companies of England. In Three Dialogues, London: Printed by B[enjamin] Motte, and C. Bathurst, at the Middle Temple-Gate in Fleet-street, OCLC 221377964, page 61:
      Lady Anſw[erall]. Colonel, ſome Ladies of your Acquaintance have promis'd to breakfast with you, and I am to wait on them; what will you give us? / Col[onel Atwit]. Why, faith, Madam, Batchelors Fare; Bread and Cheeſe, and Kiſſes. / Lady Anſw. Poh! what have you Batchelors to do with your Money, but to treat the Ladies? you have nothing to keep but your own Four Quarters.
    • 1738 January, “The Bachelor’s Life. To the Tune in The King and the Miller.”, in The London Magazine: And Monthly Chronologer, London: Printed for T[homas] Astley, at the Rose over-against the North-Door of St. Paul's, OCLC 941006374, stanza 2, page 40, column 1:
      Tho' his house ben't so nice, he is sure to be neat, / And the ladies are always well pleas'd with his treat. / By the ſmack of their lips they at parting declare, / How delicious a feaſt they think bachelor's fare.
    • 1825, James Heney, chapter XX, in Agnes, or The Sailor’s Orphan; with Memoirs of the Dudley Family, Oxford: Published by Bartlett and Hinton; and sold at their warehouse, 17, Warwick-Square, and by G[eorge] Virtue, 26, Ivy Lane, London, OCLC 4320905, pages 198–199:
      The villain of a pedlar saw his discourse was attentively heard, and flattered himself with the hopes of a supper and night's lodging; he was not deceived, for the parson was so well pleased with his conversation, that he insisted on his staying and partaking of batchelor's fare, bread and cheese, and mild ale; the latter he supplied his guest with so immoderately that he was obliged to convey him to his apartment.
    • 1836, [Anne T.] Woodrooffe, chapter XVI, in Shades of Character; or, The Infant Pilgrim, volume I, 3rd edition, London: Hatchard & Son, Piccadilly; Hamilton, Adams, and Co., Paternoster Row, OCLC 81164023, page 380:
      Stacy, my housekeeper, is in great fear that she is not up to the entertainment of so grand a party as I purpose to have at Midsummer; but I tell her that bachelor's fare is bread and cheese, and all beyond is more than you have any right to expect. It is very likely you may have a bit of bacon into the bargain; but I know you do not mind eating, my dear.
    • 1840, John Patterson, chapter III, in Camp and Quarters: Or Scenes and Impressions of Military Life. Interspersed with Anecdotes of Various Well-known Characters who Flourished in the War. [...] In Two Volumes, volume II, London: Saunders and Otley, Conduit Street, OCLC 265474883, page 78:
      Neither batchelor's fare, nor lodging-house dinners have any attraction in his esteem; nor is he a convert to the cold-meat and pic-nic school;—no, no!—to please his palate, there must be a regularly-built, smoking, well-sustaining table.
    • 1864, Mrs. Gordon Smythies, chapter XV, in Guilty; or, Not Guilty. A Novel. [...] In Three Volumes, volume III, London: Hurst and Blackett, publishers, successors to Henry Colburn, 13, Great Marlborough Street, OCLC 57294372, page 188:
      "We'll buy a nice bit o' fish," he said, "and a goose, to add to my bachelor's fare, and be happy as the day is long. []"

Alternative forms[edit]