Grub Street


Grub Street
1. a street in London, England: formerly inhabited by many impoverished minor writers and literary hacks; now called Milton Street.
2. petty and needy authors, or literary hacks, collectively.

* * *

▪ literary hacks
      the world of literary hacks, or mediocre, needy writers who write for hire. The term originated in the 18th century and was frequently used by writers. There was even a Grub-Street Journal. According to Dr. Samuel Johnson's Dictionary (Dictionary of the English Language, A), Grub Street was “originally the name of a street in Moorfields in London, much inhabited by writers of small histories, dictionaries, and temporary poems; whence any mean production is called grubstreet.” The term was a metaphor for the commercial production of printed matter, regardless of whether such matter actually originated on Grub Street itself. The street was renamed Milton Street in 1830. The novelist Tobias Smollett (Smollett, Tobias), himself engaged much of his life in Grub Street hackwork, provided a memorable scene of a Grub Street dinner party in Humphry Clinker. George Gissing's novel New Grub Street (1891) also deals with London literary life.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Grub Street — Grub Grub, n. 1. (Zo[ o]l.) The larva of an insect, especially of a beetle; called also {grubworm}. See Illust. of {Goldsmith beetle}, under {Goldsmith}. [1913 Webster] Yet your butterfly was a grub. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. A short, thick man; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • grub-street — Grub Street, 1. a former street in London, where struggling writers lived (now caed Milton Street). 2. writers who write merely to earn money; hack writers: »He [Balzac] served a long apprenticeship in the labyrinth of Grub Street (Listener).… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Grub Street — Grub′ Street n. 1) geg a street in London formerly inhabited by impoverished writers and literary hacks 2) lit. literary hacks collectively …   From formal English to slang

  • Grub Street — Until the early 1800s, Grub Street was the name of a street in London s impoverished Moorfields district. In the 1700s and 1800s, the street was famous for its concentration of mediocre, impoverished hack writers , aspiring poets, and low end… …   Wikipedia

  • Grub Street — n. (often attrib.) the world or class of literary hacks and impoverished authors. Etymology: name of a street (later Milton St.) in Moorgate, London, inhabited by these in the 17th c. * * * noun the world of literary hacks • Hypernyms: ↑world,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Grub Street — 51°31′13″N 0°05′27″O / 51.52028, 0.09083 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Grub Street —    See Milton Street.    Not properly Grub Street any further than the Post and Chain ; the other part in the Freedom or Liberty of the City is called Grape Street (W. Stow, 1722) …   Dictionary of London

  • Grub Street — noun Etymology: Grub Street, London, formerly inhabited by literary hacks Date: 1630 the world or category of needy literary hacks …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Grub Street — noun the home or state of impoverished writers and literary hacks Upon the occaision of his first publication he quit his day job, only to find that Grub Street wasnt lined with manors and villas but hovels and slums …   Wiktionary

  • Grub Street — noun the world or class of impoverished journalists and writers. Origin the name of a street (later Milton Street) in London inhabited by such writers in the 17th cent …   English new terms dictionary


We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.