Ring slang list from 1926 RING magazine

Fri May 21 20:28:56 UTC 1999

        Two notes on Barry Popik's posting of a 1926 glossary of boxing
slang: Evidently the paper is deteriorated, and Barry had difficulty
reading several words.
        He guessed right on M(?)auler.  It, and its variant Mauley, are in
RHHDAS, meaning fist.
        ?bber is Nobber or Knobber, a punch to the head.  This is not in
RHHDAS in this sense.  I have in my notes the following, from a
account of a prizefight:

        "Bob made a good nobber and smiled; but Tom . . . in closing fibbed
and fell upon him.  ***  McCoy fibbed, Bob down."
        The Whip, July 9, 1842, p. 2, col. 4.  In NYC Archives, New
York County District Attorney's files, Box 410, for July 14, 1842.

        There was also a related verb, not in RHHDAS.  The same source has
"McCoy nobbed his opponent, and he went down bleeding."  The Whip,
July 9, 1842, p. 2, col. 4.  I also have this verb from a very
respectable newspaper of 1817.  I wonder whether the verb might not
mean "butted"?

        I'm not sure that there are issues of The Whip surviving in
libraries.  It was indicted as an obscene or libellous publication in
1842, and the offending issues are still in the New York County
District Attorney's files, as evidence.

        I have much boxing slang in my notes from the first half of the 19th
century, including citation that antedate RHHDAS by 10, 20 or 30
years.  This is interesting because it suggests that not only was
"flash" language well known in NYC by the 1820s, but also that the "flash"
or "Corinthian" culture of boxing, etc., had been imported from
England by that time and was familiar to the gentlemen of New York,
as well as to the ruffians.


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