Be careful to have a very good bread-room to put your biscuit in.

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sarah97418

New Member
Français
I found this sentence in an historical text "Be careful to have a very good bread-room to put your biscuit in". Is it an idiomatic sentence ? And what does it mean ?
 
  • Alisterio

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It sounds like something somebody made up - at least I've certainly never heard the expression and I wouldn't like to guess what a "bread-room" might be. Can you be a bit more specific about the text you found it in? Is it historical fiction, or an actual text written at some point in the past? If so, when? And in what context?
     

    sarah97418

    New Member
    Français
    It sounds like something somebody made up - at least I've certainly never heard the expression and I wouldn't like to guess what a "bread-room" might be. Can you be a bit more specific about the text you found it in? Is it historical fiction, or an actual text written at some point in the past? If so, when? And in what context?
    It is a letter sent from New-England by Edward Winslow to his friend : "Brief and True Declaration of the Worth of that Plantation, and also certain useful directions for such as intend a voyage into New-England". We studied the text in order to introduce the lesson about Plymouth Colony.

    The paragraph where this expression appeared is :
    "Now because I expect your coming unto us, with other of our friends, whose company we much desire, I thought good to advertise you of a few things needful. Be careful to have a very good bread-room to put your biscuit in. Let not your meat be dry-salted..."
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi sarah - welcome to the forums:)

    I found this definition in the OED:
    bread-room n. a room for keeping bread, esp. Naut[ical]. ‘a place parted off below the lower deck, close abaft, for keeping the bread’; also slang. = bread-basket n. 2.

    1627 J. Smith Sea Gram. ii. 12 The Bread-roome is commonly vnder the Gun-roome.
    1794 Ld. Hood in Ld. Nelson Disp. & Lett. (ed. 2) I. 483 (note), Put all you can get into your bread-room.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    This is very old-fashioned English. I agree entirely with RM1 that bread-room is a defunct form of 'pantry'. Biscuit is mentioned because bread would have to be cooked hard in order to preserve it during a long sea voyage.

    The longer term is sea biscuit or ship's biscuit otherwise known as hardtack.


    (cross-posted with Loob)
     
    Last edited:

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    And 'biscuit' in present-day English is a count noun; we keep out biscuits in biscuit tins. But here it's being used as non-count, like 'bread'.
     

    sarah97418

    New Member
    Français
    Ok !!! To conclude it isn't an idiomatic sentence :) In any case, thank you so much for all your answers and above all; thank you for the definition of "bread-room" :p, "pantry" seems to be the best word in this context. I am happy to join this forum !!! Really useful ;)
     
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