"Back in the Bronx" book

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jan 30 19:48:10 UTC 2000

>     This book turned up at the local Barnes & Noble booksellers.  It's a
>collection of the first three volumes (12 issues total) of the periodical
>BACK IN THE BRONX.  Dates (for the book and for the issues themselves) are
>missing, as is the price of the book ($34.95).  Is it worth $35 to find
>William Safire's name on their Bronx High School Honor Roll?
>     There's a Jahn's Ice Cream menu (1950s) that features its popular "The
>Kitchen Sink--Everything else but-serves four to six."  I don't know when the
>item was first introduced.  The Jahn's Ice Cream "kitchen sink" is not in the

Wow.  I always assumed OUR Jahn's, in suburban Long Beach, Long Island in
the late 1950's, was THE Jahn's, and that its Kitchen Sink was THE Kitchen
Sink.  Go know.  (We lived in Manhattan before moving to Long Beach and its
Jahn's in '57,and there were no Jahns (Jahn'ses?) there, but what did we
know from the Bronx?)

A lot of the games below are familiar from my Washington Heights
experience, some with different names ("Land", no. 23 below, we knew as
"Territories"), but I notice the absence of "saloogi"/"saluggi", which we
discussed many a moon ago on ads-l.  Evidently, 198th Street in the Bronx
was beyond the isogloss.  (Basically, as we discussed, "saloogi" is like
"keep away" except that nobody could volunteer to be It, because its aim
was to remove an article from the possession of a smaller or vulnerable kid
and reduce the victim to tears.)


>     There are two word lists.
>     From Vol. I, Issue III, pg. 12:
>_198th St, Dictionary_
>_Proverbs & Sayings_
>Hindoo: (a do-over while playing ball)
>Roly Poly: you roll the ball after you catch it and try to hit the stick ball
>stick on the ground
>The New Fields:  The Bronx baseball fields
>Sidewalk Hockey:  wearing out your shoes
>Penny in a Loafer Shoe:  The 1940's macho look
>A Federal:  lunch at Clinton High School--Ugh!
>Ring-A Leevio:  Oh! to run like that again
>Kick the Can:  not your rear end--a soda can
>3 Steps to Germany:  Glad 198th St. wasn't so wide
>Skelly:  game played on sidewalk with bottlecaps
>A Nuggie:  a shot in the head with your knuckles
>Play Knucks:  card game--bleed--blood--ouch!
>Lido Theatre:  where Sambo was King Usher
>King & Queen:  hitting ball against wall
>Off the Point: hitting ball off point; baseball
>Egg Cream:  only Sarah, George and the Bronx can do it
>A Lariet:  a strip of long paper on a string and you swing it around
>     From Vol. III, Issue IX, pg. 10:
>_Proverbs & Sayings_
>1. Chinese Checkers...A game played on a board shaped like a star with marbles
>2. Immies...Another name for marbles
>3. Saddle Shoes...White and black shoes; worn by both boys and girls
>4. Saddle Stitch...White stitching down the side of boys pants
>5. Peg Pants...Pants tapered at the cuffs
>6. Bells/Bell bottoms...Pants wide at the bottom
>7. A Black & White Soda...A Chocolate ice cream soda w/Vanilla ice cream
>8. Creamsicle...Vanilla ice cream inside orange ice on a stick
>9. Frappe...What we called an ice cream sundae in the Bronx
>10. Cockamamy...Decals of fruit on refrigerators or kitchen cabinets
>11. Oil Cloth...What we used to call linoleum (Floor covering)
>12. Parlor...Living Room
>13. Lime Ricky...Lemon & Lime soda w/a cherry in it served in a tall slim
>14. Charlotte Russe...Sponge cake in a cylindrical body of cardboard with a
>lot of whipped cream and as you eat it, you push it up from the bottom
>15. Mello Roll...Ice cream wrapped in a cylindrical shape that you peeled off
>the wrapper and pushed in a special mello roll cone
>16. Pitching Pennies...Throw pennies against the wall; the furthest one
>thrown wins
>17. Cats Cradle...A game played with string (Mostly by girls)
>18. Flipping Cards..lst person flips 3 or 4 baseball cards; If 2nd person
>matches his flips, he wins
>19. Slug or Chinese Handball...Ball must hit ground than wall: King, Queen,
>Jack were positions
>20. Knock Hockey...Played on a table in after-school centers
>21. Curb Ball...Hit the ball off the curb, the four corners were the bases
>22. Iron Tag...One person was "it", you had to run and touch something metal
>before you got tagged or you wouldn't be "it"
>23. Land..Draw a square in the dirt, then throw a penknife in the dirt and
>carve up the land
>24. Statues...Someone would count and then say freeze and you would make a
>pose like a statue
>25.  Haggies or No Haggies...When someone bought a box of candy, you would
>yell haggies and he would have to share with you unless that person had
>shouted no haggies first
>    "Haggies" is, unfortunately, not in DARE.  It is the rare term that's not
>found on ANY of my search engines (Nexis, Dow Jones, Alta Vista, Lycos,
>Infoseek, Deja News, et al.).  Someone from the Bronx had once asked me about

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