choose

choose v

[. . .]

B  Sense.

To want to have, care for (something)—usu used in polite formulas for declining offers of food or drink. [OED2 choose v. 3.b 1766→ ] chiefly NEng, Sth, S Midl ?obs

1823 Natl. Advocate (New York NY) 6 Jan [3]/3, “Pray excuse me, ma’am, I would’nt choose any more coffee.” “Oh, sir, said the lady, ’tis all the rage now.” 1854 Godey’s Lady’s Book 49.493, I’m quite well, perfectly well, Margery; only I do not choose any luncheon. 1856 Spirit of Times 26.173/2 AL, I really wanted some tea, but to get it was manifestly out of the question, so I answered: ‘No, I thank you, wouldn’t choose any.’ 1872 Schele de Vere Americanisms 453, Choose, to, is used by low-bred people, with the peculiar meaning of to choose not to take what is offered. A dish offered at table is declined with the words, “I don’t choose any.” 1884 Anglia 7.252 Sth, S Midl [Black], Pres. choose (also = wish; I don’t choose any). 1895 DN 1.385 IN, Choose: in phrase “Thank you, I would not choose any”—to decline a dish at table. 1902 DN 2.231 sIL, Choose. . . Used negatively in declining a dish at table. ‘I dont choose any, or for any’ or ‘I wouldn [sic] choose any, or for any.’ 1903 DN 2.309 seMO, Choose. . . Desire. ‘I wouldn’t choose any.’ . . This is a very common expression used at table by all classes of people. 1905 DN 3.74 nwAR, Choose. . . To take (at table). ‘I wouldn’t choose any,’ ‘I don’t care for any more.’ . . Very common. 1906 DN 3.116 sIN, Choose. . . Wish, desire, as at table. “I don’t choose any.” 1908 DN 3.298 eAL, wGA, Choose. . . Used as a polite refusal at table. “Will you have some butter?” “No, I thank you, I wouldn’t choose any.” 1909 Sun (Baltimore MD) 6 June 18/4, On one occasion when she [=the writer’s “mammy”] was a guest at a doll’s tea party, she declined some viand with: “No, I thank you, I really wouldn’t choose any at this present time.” This struck my fancy as a charming and novel phrase, and I took the first opportunity to use it at the family table. Everyone laughed, and I wept with mortification, so that I had to leave the table. 1914 DN 4.159 cVA, Choose. . . To desire; want. “Have some sweet-potata pie?” “thank yo no, I don’t choose any.” 1915 DN 4.181 swVA, Choose. . . To desire; care for:—usually negative in declining food. “I wouldn’t choose any.” 1925 Kroll Compar. Study S. Folk Speech 9, Choose—Accept, prefer, care for. “Would you choose a[n]y of the butter?” “No I wouldn’t choose none.” 1927 Nashville Tennessean (TN) 5 Aug [15]/6, Regarding the recent statement of President Coolidge concerning the nomination of 1928, Congressman Eslick said: “When I was a small boy in the country it was customary for a small boy, when asked if he wanted another helping, to respond, ‘I don’t choose any more.’ But when the hostess insisted, he always took another helping.” 1933 Hurston in Story 3.14.67 FL [Black], Missie May, you ain’t eatin’ yo’ breakfus’.” “Ah don’t choose none, Ah thank yuh.” 1941 LANE Map 320 (I don’t care for any) 4 infs, ME, I don’t choose any. [This response was suggested to three of the informants; one indicated that it was old-fashioned.] 1971 DARE File Cape Cod MA, You know, Nonnie, I’d choose another cup of coffee.