by(e)


by(e)
   obsolete
   an indication of illegitimacy
   Literally, ancillary. A by(e)-blow, -chap-, -scape, etc. indicated illegitimate birth of one who was by(e)-come, -begot, etc.:
    I really was a niece of a one-time Governor and not some by-blow of Lili Chatterjee's family. (P. Scott, 1973)
   By(e)-courting, by a male, was done deceitfully without any intention of marriage:
    Bitterly did I regret I had done my by courtings so near home. (Crockett, 1896)
   In Scotland a by(e)-shot was an elderly unmarried woman, not always as a result of Cupid's bad marksmanship:
    If she cannot restrain her loquacity, she is in danger of hearing the reproach of a byshot. (Tarras, 1804)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.


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