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