Word of the Day Archive
Saturday January 12, 2013
To steal (especially something of small value); pilfer: to filch ashtrays from fancy restaurants.
…but any way they resemble the buffoons at the fair, who beg, grab and filch material, here and there and everywhere, in order later to deal it out in a small folio…
-- Nikolai Gogol, The Diary of a Madman and Other Stories
Still, gobbling real food after days of clean garbage and public filch, she had let her antennae droop.
-- Toni Morrison, Love
Filch is of unknown origin. It may be related to the name for a kind of hook that could be used to steal small items from kitchen windows. It also may have come from the Middle English word filchen meaning "to attack (in a body), take as booty."