One-Two Punch

Jonathon Green slang at BLUEYONDER.CO.UK
Thu Sep 20 09:34:49 UTC 2001

> --------------------------------------------------------
>    The RHHDAS has 1811, then 1902.  Could the 1811 cite be wrong?...Even
if it is, 1902 seems a little early for this fighter to create and
popularize it.

No. RHDAS (citing OEDS) is spot on. There is a large vocabulary of early 19C
prize-fighting slang (e.g. _smeller_, nose; _claret_, blood, _victualling
department_ or _office_, stomach). The works of Pierce Egan (sporting
journalist, editor in 1823 of the last revision of Grose's Classical Dict.
of the Vulgar Tongue, and creator of the original 'Tom and Jerry') are its
best repository.

On 'one-two' my own files offer, inter alia:

1819 T. Moore _Tom Crib's Memorial to Congress_ 14: Which t'other observing
_put in_ his ONE-TWO / Between GEORGY'S left ribs, with a knuckle so true

1823 'Jon Bee' _Slang_ 130: One-two (ring) - when both hands are applied to
the antagonist quickly, he is said to have 'napt one-two' -three, sometimes;
a saying created at Bristol and brouight up to London

1848 _Flash Dictionary_ (in _Sinks of London Laid Open_) 118: One two, two
blows succeeding each other

Jonathon Green

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