findings keepings

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Proverbial saying, mid 19th century. The Roman comic dramatist Plautus (c.250–184bc) has the same idea in the words ‘habeas ut nanctu's [he may keep that finds].’ The principle is recorded in English in a source of the late 16th century, ‘That a man finds is his own, and he may keep it.’

See also finders keepers (losers weepers).

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