Bloody Mary; Medical slang; Reader's Digest

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Tue Nov 30 08:28:08 UTC 1999

BLOODY MARY (continued)

     This continues the discussion on "Bloody Mary" that began with the "21"
Club's claim, in a book published this year.
     None of the bookstores had this book, so I special ordered THE BLOODY
Christopher B. O'Hara, photographs by William A. Nash.  It's a slim book
that's filled with photographs.  There is no bibliography.  "The Bloody
History" is on pages 2-6.

     According to Dale DeGroff, considered one of the world's top cocktail
historians  (NYC's Rainbow Room-ed.), bartender Ferdinand "Pete" Petiot of
the Paris-based Harry's New York Bar first served the beverage around 1920.
The basic recipe consisted of vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce,
lemon, salt, and cayenne pepper.  He called it the Bloody Mary, referring to
the Protestant-burning Mary Tudor of the same name.
     According to the McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco Bloody Mary Mix,
another story has it that one of Petiot's customers, an anonymous American
(Entertainer Roy Barton?  I failed to find any info on him in the NYPL
Performing Arts branch--ed.), remarked that the fiery drink reminded him of
something called the "Bucket of Blood Club" back home in Chicago.  It also
made this Yank reminisce about a certain girl he remembered from that club;
her name was Mary.
     In any case, Harry's New York Bar was the birthplace of the Bloody.
Originally, the bar was called Clancy's--Clancy's on Manhattan's East Side,
in fact.

     "21" is never mentioned.  It's stated that the Astor family brought Pete
over to the St. Regis, but that they wanted the drink named the Red Snapper.
     M. Ferdinand Petiot was profiled in THE NEW YORKER, "The Talk of the
Town," _Barman_, 18 July 1964, pp. 19-20.  Petiot came to the St. Regis from
the Savoy in London.  On pg. 20, col. 1:

     "I initiated the Bloody Mary of today," he told us.  "George Jessel said
he created it, but it was really nothing but vodka and tomato juice when I
took it over.  I cover the bottom of the shaker with four large dashes of
salt, two dashes of black pepper, two dashes of cayenne pepper, and a layer
of Worcestershire sauce; I then add a dash of lemon juice and some cracked
ice, put in two ounces of vodka and two ounces of thick tomato juice, shake,
strain, and pour.  We serve a hundred to a hundred and fifty Bloody Marys a
day here in the King Cole Room and in the other restaurants and the banquet

     The drink is called "Hot Vodka Red Snapper" in VOGUE, December 1960, pg.
168, col. 2.   HOUSE & GARDEN, January 1956, pg. 31:  BLOODY MARY: Many
people feel that the Bloody Mary is the answer to all next-day worries and
since its creation it has become one of the two most favorite lunch time
cocktails in New York.
     This is from HOUSE & GARDEN, "Cocktail lore and legend," April 1965, pg.
191, col. 1:

     The Bloody Mary, favorite morning-after restorative, is claimed by
George Jessel and at least two New York bartenders, while the screwdriver,
which tastes like orange juice but is considerably more potent, is believed
to have originated with American oil workers in Iran who drank vodka and
orange juice, stirring it with screwdrivers they carried attached to their
fatigue pants by loops.

     I was looking for an Iranian "screwdriver" when I found "hummos."

MEDICAL SLANG (continued)

     A check of Dow Jones for the last two years didn't turn up many medical
slang articles.  This is from the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 20 August 1998,
pg. A18:

     LONDON--Sometimes, a patient is kind of an FLK, though it's the ones who
become a PIN that really get on nurse's nerves.
     Such coded comments scribbled into hospital charts about patients' looks
and personalities--"Funny Looking Kid" or "Pain In the Neck," for
example--won't be tolerated, Britain's nursing council says.
     The United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Visiting plans to send letters to about 640,000 nurses threatening
disciplinary action if they use offensive jargon, the Press Association
reported Wednesday.
     Other examples found in patient records include BUNDY, for "But
Unfortunately Not Dead Yet," and GOK, for "God Only Knows."

     I traveled to Guatemala with a nurse.  There were frequent bathroom
stops for some people, but she said she had "nurse's bladder."  She said that
nurses can hold it for long shifts.  She didn't reveal any other slang.


    I've been going through the READER'S DIGEST searching for Americanisms.
In particular, I'm looking for the ever-troublesome "make a federal case out
of it" and "the whole nine yards."  It's slow going and I didn't find those
yet, but I found other great stuff instead.

  June 1953, pg. 54, col. 1:  It was a world where the _click_ or _smash_ hit
was the ultimate goal (last year seven major companies recorded 2500 songs,
but only 81 were hits); a world where _cut-ins_ (giving a performer a share
of a song's profits), _hot stoves_ (open bribes) and other forms of _payola_
were standing operating procedure; a world of _romance_ (a verb meaning to
shower disk jockeys and musicians with attentions in return for
  August 1953, pg. 16, col. 1:  Coffin Corner is a strange new phenomenon of
very high speed at great altitude.  (See other entries in RHHDAS--ed.)
  August 1953, pg. 16, col. 2:  At 40,000 feet the first rule is BYOO--Bring
Your Own Oxygen--and this "brain basket" is piped to an ample supply.
  August 1953, pg. 98:  _Beware the "Bait-Ad" Gyp_  (AMERICAN SPEECH has
"bait advertising" in May 1958, pg. 157--ed.)
  August 1953, pg. 99, col. 1:  This was my introduction to the "bait 'em and
switch 'em" racket.  I discovered that you can hear fraudulent advertising of
this type daily on radio and TV, and read it in (col. 2--ed.) many newspapers
all across the country.  From the Association of Better Business Bureaus I
learned that "bait advertising" is the biggest gyp and the most widespread
abuse in advertising today.
  August 1953, pg. 155, col. 1--Yet all these men have made a business of
mingling daily with lions, leopards and--the most dangerous trio--buffalo,
elephants and rhino.  (These are the "Big Five," but that term is not used
here.  Taken from Robert C. Ruark's book, HORN OF THE HUNTER--ed.)
  September 1953, pg. 8, col. 1--Whenever I (Eddie Cantor--ed.) think of that
morning, I think of Father Peyton of Los Angeles.  He created the slogan,
"The family that prays together stays together."  It became the theme for the
fine radio program "Family Theater."  It would make a good theme for the
entire nation: "People who pray together stay together."
  September 1953, pg. 23, col. 2--Amos and Andy described the operation
neatly: "The big print (pg. 24, col. 1--ed.) gives it to you and the little
print takes it away."

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