More W. C. Fields-isms, more W. Winchell-isms (long!)

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Wed Jan 12 15:48:25 UTC 2000

    I went through a few more books on these guys.


    From W. C. FIELDS: HIS FOLLIES & FORTUNES (1949) by Robert Lewis Taylor:

Pg. 4:  He exclaims, "Godfrey Daniel!" (which was as near as he could ever
manage to "goddamn" and still get by the Hays office) and proceeds.
(Referring to the film NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK--ed.)
Pg. 12:  Fields enjoyed talking about early Philadelphia, partly, his friends
suspected, because he liked to demonstrate his phenomenal memory.  When in
good form, he would rattle off long lists of stray information, such as the
fact that Philadelphians called merry-go-rounds "hobbyhorses" (Not in
DARE--ed.); that they called peanuts "ground nuts" (DARE has mostly southern
cites--ed.); that small restaurants were called "oyster houses" or "oyster
saloons" (though they sold no liquor)(Both not in DARE--ed.); that Sunday
entertainment was limited to band concerts at Willow Grove and Strawberry
Mansion in Fairmont Park; that firecrackers were known as "shooting
crackers," and that the city was known for Philadelphia Pepper Pot,
Philadelphia scrapple, sticky-bottom cinnamon buns, and "Scotch cake," a flat
cake an eighth of an inch thick and six inches in diameter, upon which Fields
claimed to have broken several teeth in his fledgling years.
Pg. 42:  One of the inducements of this job, in Fields' eyes, had been the
substantial salary of ten dollars a week and, in the trade term, "cakes."
(RHHDAS has 1906, but this Fields period was 1893-1896--ed.)
Pg. 232:  His nasal mutter was imitated by laymen, his favorite endearments,
such as "My dove," "My little chickadee," and "My glowworm," which first
appeared in _If I Had a Million_ (being addressed to the un-dove-like Alison
Skipworth), were repeated ad nauseum, and his mannerisms and snouty
appearance were (Pg. 233-ed.) burlesqued by many a mime of the vaudeville
     Fields' favorite exclamations--"Godfrey Daniel," "Mother of Pearl" (not
in RHHDAS--ed.), "Drat!" and others--always had a peculiar standing at the
Hays office..."Godfrey Daniel" always came out "Goddamn," not only to the
Hays office but to the general public.
Pg. 325:  Sometimes his bosses would persuade him to try a scene their way,
as a "dry run," just for fun.  (Author's anachronism for this pre-WWII
Pg. 329:  He relaxed and ordered a "depth bomb," with some water on the side.
 He drank the potion and washed his fingers carefully; then he called for
another round, including a fresh glass of water.  (RHHDAS has 1963, with 1956
for "depth charge"--ed.)

Ronald J. Fields:

Pg. 6:  We had a big yard around the house, and out in front grew a big apple
tree.  Under it lay three apples, and (Pg. 7--ed.) with them as my stock in
trade I started in the juggling business.  (A 1901 interview.  Won't be long
before someone says W. C. Fields coined "the big apple"--ed.)
Pg. 18:  I do believe it was Carrie Nation or Mrs. Carrie Catt who said "Take
a little wine for thy stomach's sake, but don't get blotto."  (RHHDAS blotto
1917, this cite 1903?--ed.)
Pg. 28: even if You ain't the pig's scream that You say You are, You
had a shining example to copy from.  (19 Nov. 1904 letter.  RHHDAS pig's
Pg. 36-37:  ..."knocking 'em out of their seats" at the Orpheum this week...
Pg. 76:  So "drive easy, the road is muddy" as McIntyre and Heath used to
say.  (18 April 1928 letter--ed.)
Pg. 82:  I notice in this month's "Esquire" that you are using "When it's not
a fit night out for man or beast" as a caption for your advertisement.
Fifteen years ago, I made the line "It ain't a fit night out for (Pg.
83--ed.) man or beast" a by-word by using it in my sketch in Earl Carroll's
Vanities.  Later on, I used it as a title for a moving picture I did for Mack
Sennett.  I do not claim to be the originator of this line as it was probably
used long before I was born in some old melodrama, but I want to tell you
that Four Roses has been my favorite stimulant for years...  (8 February 1944
letter to Frankfort Distilleries--ed.)
Pg. 249:  My old grand-mere, were she here and had she thought of it, might
have said: "Don't believe anything you hear and only half you see."  (13 July
1943 letter--ed.)
Pg. 452:  As our Sunday school teacher used to say: Pluckhit.  (21 October
1938 letter--ed.)


     From WINCHELL EXCLUSIVE (1966-1972) by Walter Winchell:

Pg. 2:  From the Hotsy we went to Texas Guinan's, the most popular and
prosperous sip-and-sup spot along The Big Apple (Broadway--ed).
Pg. 6:  The teen-urgers today are not much different from the ones I grew up
with in Harlem in 1910.  If you weren't a Sissy, Queer, Minty, Petunia,
Pansy, or Flaming Fhagott, you dated girls.
Pg. 28:  The slogan "You Haven't Arrived Until You've Played the Palace!" was
created by a great guy and star press agent named Walter J. Kingsley.
Pg. 29:  I gave Milton (Berle--ed.) the name The Thief of Bad Gags.  I can't
recall that I coined it, but at least I popularized it--by using it a lot.
Pg. 43:  glitterati.
Pg. 46:  My Girl Friday.
Pp. 116, 192, 220, 297, 306:  The Big C.  (RHHDAS has Big C=Cancer from 1964,
with no Winchell cites--ed.)
Pg. 193:  ...Forty-sixth Street and The Big Apple (Broadway--ed).
_Adam-and-Eveing it_...going places together
_Ankled up an altar_...were married
_Bologny Boulevard_...Times Square
_Bundle from
_Bundle of threads_...girl
_Chicagorilla_...a Chicago gunman
_Crudd_...a person as unimportant as the phlu you find in the corner of your
pockets love
_Curdled_...ended a romance
_Debutramp_...instead of debutante
_Fun Milk_...liquor
_Giggle Water_...liquor
_Go-Ghetto District_...the Ghetto
_Hard-Times Square_...Times Square
_Hardened Artery_...Broadway
_He's phluggy_...a little silly, screwy, dumb
_Imaging_...going to have a Blessed Event
_Infanticipating_...going to have a Blessed Event
_Increasing the Mom-and-Population_...anticipating a Blessed Event
_Is my face red!_...embarrassed
Pg. 325:
_Joining the Renobility_...divorced in Reno
_Joy Juice_...liquor
_Laughing Soup_...liquor
_Lohengrin marry
_Main Stem Femmes_...Broadway girls
_Melted_...divorced marry
_Merry Magdalens_...chorus girls
_Middle-Aisle wed
_Old Foofff_...a pest
_On love
_On the Merge_...engaged
_On the Verge_...about to be divorced
_Panz_...a pansy or sissy
_Parenticipating_...anticipating a Blessed Event
_Park Rowgues_...newspapermen
_Profanuage_...profane language
_Renovated_...divorced in Reno
_Revusical_...a revue
_Sin Den_...nightclub
_Swelegant_...even more than elegant
_A Swifty_...a swift wisecrack
_Telling It to a Judge_...getting a divorce
_Terpsichorines_...chorus girls
_That love
_The Grandest Canyon_...Broadway
_This-and-That-Way_...on the verge of parting
_Times Squareguy_...a Broadway habitue who is on the level
_Times Square_...Broadway
_Two-Times Square_...Times Square
_Uh-huh_...plenty in love
_Wildeman_...a pansy or sissy
_Wyoming ketchup_...liquor

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