Dine with Duke Humphrey


  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Dine with Duke Humphrey to go without a meal, like those who, unable to procure a dinner, loitered about Duke Humphrey's Walk in Old St Paul's
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. disner (Fr. dîner)—Low L. disjunāre, for disjejunāre, to break one's fast—L. dis-, and jejunus, fasting (cf. Déjeuner). Others explain disnare as from decenāre—L. de, inten., and cenāre, to dine.


In literature:

He often dined with Duke Humphrey, and generally slept at the sign of a clear sky.
"Bohemians of the Latin Quarter" by Henry Murger
HUMPHREY, Duke, origin of the phrase "dining with," ii.
"Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 3 (of 3)" by Isaac Disraeli
Hence the 16th-century proverb "to dine with Duke Humphrey," used of those who loitered there dinnerless.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 12, Slice 2" by Various
To secure something which he covets he is capable of pawning his coat or 'dining with Duke Humphrey.
"The Confessions of a Collector" by William Carew Hazlitt