- findings keepings
- See also the preceding proverb (finders keepers). Cf. PLAUTUS Trinummus 1.63 habeas ut nanctu’s, he may keep that finds. The principle was current in England before the present formulation; 1595 A. COOKE Country Errors in Harley MS 5247 108v That a man finds is his own, and he may keep it.
1863 J. H. SPEKE Discovery of Source of Nile v. The scoundrels said, ‘Findings are keepings, by the laws of our country; and as we found your cows, so we will keep them.’
1904 Daily Chronicle 27 Sept. 1 Harsh sentences of imprisonment for ‘findings-keepings’ offences.
1963 G. GREENE Sense of Reality 38 ‘I found them in the passage.’.. ‘Finding’s [i.e. the action or fact of finding, rather than the objects found, as in earlier examples] not keeping here,’ he said, ‘whatever it may be up there..’
Proverbs new dictionary.