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Monthly Archives: March 2010

The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: assay

assay – to commence; to try it. Possibly derived from the phrase “to take the assay or essay,” i.e., to taste wine to prove that it is not poisoned. It may have been brought into use by counterfeit coiners. Image by Greg_e via Flickr Sources Barrère, Albert and Charles G. Leland. A Dictionary of Slang, […]