Pros from Dover
Douglas G. Wilson
douglas at NB.NET
Tue Jul 23 05:31:55 UTC 2002
Here's what I adduce from Internet references. I read and saw "MASH" so
long ago that I'm not sure whether I remember any of this or not: some
seems to ring a faint bell. I don't guarantee it: maybe I can get a look at
the novel tomorrow, or maybe somebody else remembers better.
In the movie "MASH", Hawkeye and Trapper introduce themselves facetiously
as "the pros from Dover", but in the first use of the expression in the
movie Hawkeye introduces himself as "the pro from Dover" and introduces his
companion as his caddie. They are apparently surgeons between golf games.
"Pro" means "golf pro", i.e. the "pro[fessional golfer]" (?) associated
with a golf club. Apparently somewhere in the original MASH novel, somebody
(Hawkeye?) has a trick for getting free golf course admission (in Maine, I
think): introducing himself (to the pro at a golf club) as "the pro from
Dover", i.e., as the pro from some other golf club (maybe an imaginary
one), thus getting a free game as "professional courtesy".
So the movie usage is from the novel and I think there is some background
there. The current usage I feel pretty sure comes from the movie. "Pros
from Dover" means "[outside/visiting] experts", I guess.
-- Doug Wilson
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