"Meerns" query

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Sat Dec 23 02:54:44 UTC 2000

   Many thanx for the ads-l responses on "Meerns". A solution is still
elusive, but at least I know that it's not an obvious one.
   Douglas Wilson's suggestion that "Meerns" may be merely someone's
(nick)name seems reasonable. The question, of course, is who. (Adrian
Ansen's nicknames were "Pop" and "Old Anse").
    BTW, I have read through hundreds of baseball articles from the
1913 _San Francisco Bulletin_, and only the one attestation of
"Meerns" has turned up. Also, the articles give no indication of
Dutch influence on colloquial San Francisco speech or even culture.

----Gerald Cohen

>It certainly seerns puzzling.
>The only "meern" I can find is De Meern, a place near Utrecht in the
>Netherlands. At a quick glance, the Dutch items turned up by Web search
>seem to refer to this place.
>"Meerns" just doesn't feel like an English word, nor like a transcription
>of a Dutch or German one in the current context, IMHO. Still could be
>someone's [nick]name, I suppose. ...
>-- Doug Wilson


>    I have come across "Meerns" as a term of address in a 1913 sports
>article but am unable to determine its exact meaning.  It does not
>seem to be listed in the dictionaries.
>     The word appears in the newspaper _San Francisco Bulletin_,
>March 11, 1913, p. 18, cols. 5-6, over the photograph of former
>baseball player Bill Lange. The relevant sentence is:
>'As Pop Anson would pause to remark, "I knew him when he was the
>equal of a bum baseball player they call Tyrus Raymond Cobb." Yes,
>Meerns, that was some years ago.' ...

--G. Cohen

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