Stand and Deliver

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Stand and Deliver : Phrases


Stop and give me your valuables.



This phrase was used by 17th century highwaymen (robbers) in the UK, when holding up stagecoaches - literally 'stop and deliver me of your money'. Highwaymen were also known as 'bidstands'. The phrase appears frequently in drama/literature and is as much a stock device of a stage highwayman as a parrot and peg leg are for a stage pirate. It isn't an invention of literature though and has a basis in historical fact. It must have been well-established in the language by 1714, as Alexander Smith included it then in his reference work The history of the lives of the most noted highwaymen:

"He order'd him to Stand and Deliver."

'Stand' had long been used just to mean 'come to a halt'. Shakespeare used it with that meaning in Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1591:

"Stand sir, and throw us that you have about'ye."

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