File

To cheat. The allusion is to filing money for the sake of the dust which can be used or sold. A file is a cheat. Hence “a jolly file,” etc.

“Sorful becom that fals file.”

Cursor Mundi MS.

In single file.
Single row; one behind another. (French, file, a row.) Rank and file. Common soldiers. Thus we say, “Ten officers and three hundred rank and file fell in the action.” Rank refers to men standing abreast, file to men standing behind each other.

“It was only on the faith of some grand expedition that the credulous rank and file of the Brotherhood subscribed their dollars.” —The Times ...

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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