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Posts Tagged ‘trade-last’

Trading Places

March 19, 2014 | by

btt

An illustration from the Betsy-Tacy series.

Repeating compliments to a third party is a bit like giving money: everyone’s glad to get them, but the giving can be awkward.

It was not always so. Time was, the passing on of compliments was so ritualized a part of life that the practice had a name: trade-last. Merriam-Webster’s defines it as “a complimentary remark by a third person that a hearer offers to repeat to the person complimented if he or she will first report a compliment made about the hearer,” and dates the first recorded use of the term to 1891. Read More »

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