Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Tue Jun 5 19:00:28 UTC 2001

  Peter A. McGraw wrote:
>Two nights ago I was watching the local Portland (OR) TV news and there was
>one of the usual traffic accident reports.  According to the anchor, a car
>"ran a red light and T-boned into a Tri-Met bus."  Unfortunately they
>didn't manage to get their "sky-cam" there in time (drat!) to show an
>aerial view of the scene, so I can only infer that she meant the car plowed
>into the middle of the bus at a right angle so that the two vehicles formed
>a T.
>I swear I've never heard this (or any other verbal) use of "T-bone" before.
>Have I just led a sheltered life, or is this a new usage?

     Here is a reference on the term: Daniel C. Murphy, "Legal Slang
_Arm-Off_, _Leg-Off_, _Head-Off, And _T-Boned_." in: _Comments on
Etymology_, vol. 28, no.5, (Feb. 1999), p.13: "...Another accident
word which is used increasingly in traffic accident reports and
industry conversation is _T-boned_.
        "A driver and his auto are said to have been 'T-boned' when
the vehicle is struck in the side in an intersection by a vehicle
travelling at a right angle. 'He was travelling on Elm Street and got
T-boned at 4th.'
     (Footnote about the author:"Daniel Murphy, has been a practicing
California trial attorney for 39 years with specialties in personal
injury defense and eminent domain law.")--Mr. Murphy lives in San

---Gerald Cohen

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