spoilt for choice
Posted: 15 March 2013 06:41 AM   [ Ignore ]
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What’s the earliest citation for this phrase which means “having a wide choice”?  I couldn’t find it in OED and google books led me to a spurious 1899 date which turns out to be more like 1956.  Any offers?

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Posted: 15 March 2013 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Earliest I’ve found so far is from 1906: “It is curious how, spoiled for choice, Dr. Lasker overlooks his own collation, Q — B7 at once, and we should have had an ending worthy of the champion.” (The Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science and Art, Volume 102, Nov. 17, 1906, p. 611) Here’s the Google Books clip, for those who can see it:

books?id=JXlHAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA611&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U0ID0PcSBy_cjdKK-E4-1CKL5KRsQ&ci=470,917,445,85&edge=0

(I have no idea what “collation” means there, and I looked through the entire OED entry for an appropriate sense.)

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Posted: 16 March 2013 01:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks, lh, but I’m one of the unfortunates who can’t see the rest of the article and the snippet you posted doesn’t mention “spoilt for choice”.  Actually, I’d love to see the rest of the article because it seems to be about bridge which I play badly and I’m curious about the rules in 1906!

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Posted: 16 March 2013 06:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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No, it’s about chess, I’m afraid, and you read my quote a little too hastily: “ “It is curious how, spoiled for choice, Dr. Lasker overlooks his own collation...”

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Posted: 16 March 2013 06:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Mystery solved. “Spoiled for choice” which you quoted from the whole article which we can’t see in the UK, doesn’t appear in the snippet view (which mentions bridge on the left and chess on the right). I assumed “spoiled for choice” was going to appear in the snippet view, but obviously not.  When is google going to let us in the UK see the whole thing?  Thanks anyway.

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