E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
At Home (An).
A notification sent to friends that the lady who sends it will be at home on the day and at the hour specified, and will be glad to see the persons mentioned in the card of invitation. These At homes are generally held in an afternoon before dinner. Light refreshments are provided, and generally some popular games are introduced, occasionally music and dancing.
Not at Home. Not disengaged, or prepared for the reception of visitors; not in the house.