Where does the word “Grubstreet” come from and What does Grubstreet mean?

The word “Grubstreet” refers nowadays to a literary hack who, for needed money, will turn out an article or even a speech on whatever subject he may have a call.

But the designation actually alludes to a street in London formerly bearing that name, since 1830 called “Milton Street,” which from the early seventeenth century was, as Dr. Johnson said, “much inhabited by writers of small histories, dictionaries, and temporary poems.”

The description might apply to Johnson himself, forced into literary drudgery for many years after reaching London merely to obtain “grub.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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