By the Great Horned Spoon!
James A. Landau
JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Mon Nov 26 18:22:25 UTC 2001
I think the correct expression is "...the great horn spoon" and presumably
dates from a time when spoons were made from animal horns.
I once saw an actual horn spoon in a museum. I cannot recall which museum,
except that it was possibly a maritime museum somewhere in the San Francisco
area. (It is also possible that your mention of Caifornia 1849 has caused me
to recall my visit to that museum, which I am sure had some exhibits relevant
to Gold Rush days.)
I have a vague recolledtion of hearing the expression "great horn spoon" with
an explanation that it was an actual spoon made of horn from a man who was
born around 1900-1920 and was a graduate of Cornell, which may mean he was
from upstate New York.
Why would someone swear by a piece of flatware? I can make a guess, but it
is only a guess: Like "Drinking Gourd", "Great Horn Spoon" is a reference to
the constellations Little Dipper and Big Dipper, which are widely used for
My apologies if I have wasted your time with this message.
- Jim Landau
P.S. Probably irrelevant, but "Silver Spoons" was the epithet the
Confederates applied to Union General Benjamin F. Butler.
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