bed and board

Idioms & Phrases

bed and board

Lodging and meals, as in Housekeepers usually earn a standard salary in addition to bed and board. This phrase was first recorded in the York Manual (c. 1403), which stipulated certain connubial duties: "Her I take ... to be my wedded wife, to hold to have at bed and at board." Later bed was used merely to denote a place to sleep.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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