- to take a dram, or glass of neat spirits; jocular phrase used, with a sort of grim earnestness, by old topers to each other. “Now then, old fellow, come and SHED A TEAR!” an invitation to take “summat short.” The origin may have been that ardent spirits, taken neat by younger persons, usually bring water to their eyes. With confirmed drinkers, however, the phrase is used with an air of mingled humour and regret at their own position. A still more pathetic phrase is—“putting a NAIL IN ONE’S COFFIN,” which _see_. The term SHED A TEAR is probably derived from “eye-water.”
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