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Yours, Etc.: Origins and Uses of 8 Sign-Offs

food for thought

An idea or issue to ponder, as in That interesting suggestion of yours has given us food for thought. This metaphoric phrase, transferring the idea of digestion from the stomach to mulling something over in the mind, dates from the late 1800s, although the idea was also expressed somewhat differently at least three centuries earlier.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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