An English form of savon, the French for soap.
How are you off for soap?
(for money or any other necessity). The insurgent women of Paris,
in February, 1793, went about carrying, “Du pain et du savon!” (bread and soap).
“A deputation of washwomen petitioned the Convention for soap, and
their plaintive cry was heard round the Salle de Manége, `Du pain er
du savon!' ” - Cartyie: French Revolution, pt.
iii. bk. iii. 1.
(Castile). A hard white soap made of olive oil, sometimes
mottled with ferruginous matter. There are also Marseilles soap,
Spanish soap, Venetian soap, and marine soap (usually made of cocoanut
oil and used with sea-water).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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