What is a far cry, and what is its origin?
The OED says a far cry is a very long distance and quotes Walter Scott's Tales of My Landlord (1819):
One of the Campbells replied, ‘It is a far cry to Lochow’; a proverbial expression of the tribe, meaning that their ancient hereditary domains lay beyond the reach of an invading enemy.
They contrast it with the older within cry, meaning within calling distance, and quote William Lithgow's Totall Discourse Trav. (1632):
Villages and Houses..each one was within cry of another.
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