Date: Sat, 25 May 1996 23:02:24 EDT
From: Larry Horn LHORN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]YALEVM.CIS.YALE.EDU
Subject: Re: "took a shine to"
I doubt it's regional. I think it's standard colloquial American English
(what else could explain the fact that both we northeasterners and you deep
southerners are on the same intimate terms with shine-taking?), and Webster's
3rd has under SHINE (n.), sense 5: 'a sudden fancy, liking', with the
citation "If she takes a shine to you she'll treat you all right". The OED
lists is as 'U.S.', glossing it as 'to take a fancy for' (yup, 'for'--
a shine 2 = a fancy 4), with the first citation from 1848 sounding somewhat
dialectal to be sure: "My gracious! It's a scorpion thet's took a shine to
play with't". The second citation, from 1908, strikes one as more standard:
[from W. Churchill] "He took a shine to you that night you saw him'"
(And then of course there's the unrequited shine, whence the shiner.)