cold piece n Cf piece n 8
1 pl: Leftovers of food. chiefly NEast obs
1849 Tuthill Nursery Book 129 CT, He will take his little wheelbarrow, and limp along like poor old Joe, who goes about for cold pieces. 1879 Burlington Free Press & Times (VT) 3 Dec /2, I hope to carry out a plan of getting the little ones together . . and giving them a noon meal of your cold pieces. If you have no cold pieces to give us, let us have a little money. 1881 Friends’ Intelligencer 38.222 sePA, “But,” she said, when forced to acknowledge that the practice was pernicious, “these people are a God-send to us housekeepers. What can we do with our cold pieces if they do not take them off our hands?” 1885 Ladies’ Home Jrl. 2.11.5/2, The following is a good and cheap dressing, and can be used over lettuce or cold meat or fowls, or over lettuce and cold meat or fowl cut up together, or potatoes or any cold pieces can be made very palatable by using the dressing. 1900 Carter NC Sketches 165, She gives me work once a week, and some cold pieces to take home; that’s what’s in my basket. 1909 Circle 6.23/1, At breakfast time we tried to start a fire, but gave up in disgust ate some cold pieces. 1913 Buffalo Enquirer (NY) 17 Dec 3/5, Going around to the kitchen door I pleaded with Annie, the chef, for cold pieces. 1917 Tablet (Brooklyn NY) 24 Feb 4/4, “Cold pieces” was the mendicant cry of former years. It meant an appeal for the left-overs from the tables of the more-indulged.
2 pl: Candy and other treats handed out at the door to children on Halloween; occas sg: a Halloween treat; hence vbl n cold-piecing going from door to door on Halloween for treats. Camden NJ area obs? Cf beggars’ night n
1930 Eve. Courier (Camden NJ) 31 Oct 2/6, Children dressed in comic attire will begin their annual door-to-door visitation this afternoon for “cold-pieces.” Cider, nuts, apples and sweets will be theirs for the asking. 1934 Eve. Courier (Camden NJ) 30 Oct 6/5, [Advt:] Beringer’s Cafe. . . Hallowe’en’s Choicest “Cold-Piece” A Dish of Beringer’s Famous Chili Con Carne Free to Each Patron. 1941 Morning Post (Camden NJ) 1 Nov 1/2, Witches, skeletons, ghosts, merry-making clowns, tramps, gold diggers and hundreds of others roamed South Jersey streets last night all voicing the same cry—“Got any cold pieces?” 1957 Sat. Eve. Post Letters cwNJ, When we were youngsters no one I ever knew had heard the expression “trick or treat,” used now by all Halloween beggars. We used to call such begging “going cold-piecing” and the thing to say when someone answered the doorbell was “got any cold pieces?” Now . . the expression is seldom heard. 1963 Courier–Post (Camden NJ) 30 Oct 33/5, Tax office clerks [in Moorestown NJ] . . have made it an annual custom to hand out their stock of cold pieces to young citizens who accompany their parents to pay taxes over the Halloween observance.