Lay on the Shelf

Definitions

  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Lay on the Shelf to put aside from duty or service
    • ***

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. scylfe, a plank, Ice. skjálf, a bench.

Usage

In literature:

His bunk bedding was of the finest quality and on a shelf near the bunk lay piled new-washed sheets and pillow cases.
"The Beach of Dreams" by H. De Vere Stacpoole
A note lay on the mantel shelf when he returned from the office late in the afternoon.
"A Wounded Name" by Charles King
Then his active mind reverted to the forbidden loaf, and he forthwith drew a chair below the shelf on which it lay.
"Shifting Winds" by R.M. Ballantyne
On a shelf in a corner lay the Bible which the family had received from the colporteur.
"In the Track of the Troops" by R.M. Ballantyne
In sudden desperation he climbed up and lay flat on the wide shelf where he had hidden the uniform.
"The Boy Scout Treasure Hunters" by Charles Henry Lerrigo
Lay your Poor Richard on the shelf, and put a weight on him.
"Aladdin & Co." by Herbert Quick
On a dirty old shelf near the fire-place lay a torn and tattered book.
"Shadows of Shasta" by Joaquin Miller
His arm lay on the mantel-shelf, his fingers clutching its edge until the nails grew white.
"A Tar-Heel Baron" by Mabell Shippie Clarke Pelton
On the shelf lay a volume of the Scotch Encyclopaedia, a History of England, and some other books.
"Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland A.D. 1803" by Dorothy Wordsworth
The glass lay scattered on the pantry shelf, and the hole in the pane was large enough to put his hand through.
"Our Young Folks, Vol 1, No. 1" by Various
***

In poetry:

Not a word will he disclose,
Not a word of all he knows.
I must lay him on the shelf,
And make up the tale myself.
"The Dumb Soldier" by Robert Louis Stevenson
"Oh, this is brave," say you—"now we are free
To boat or rail—each man to please himself;
No Sabbatarian hypocrites are we,
We lay the Fourth Commandment on the shelf."
"Intemperance And The Sunday Trains" by Janet Hamilton
He could talk on any subject - from the weather and the crops
To astronomy and Euclid, and he never minded stops;
And the lack of a companion didn't lay him on the shelf,
For he'd stand before a looking-glass and argue with himself.
"The Silent Member" by C J Dennis