Johnny Pump (1934)

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Mon Jun 17 03:45:02 UTC 2002

by Henry Roth
The Noonday Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
1991, eleventh printing 1996
(Originally published in 1934)

   This is a great book, and Lighter used it extensively in the RHHDAS.  He could have cited even more.
   DARE has "johnny pump" from 1985, citing New York City speech.  I hear it quite often in my job.  Antedating the term fifty years doesn't score you any points.  (Nothing does.)
   Not much for food terms, but you can't have everything.

Pg. 37:  "You'd better go in and 'pee' first," he advised, smiling.  "How does your mother say it?"
   "She says numbuh one."
(RHHDAS has this--ed.)

Pg. 87:  They marched cross the street in single file and stopped before a tall hydrant.
   "Jump on Johnny Pump!" commanded Sidney leaping up on the two stumpy arms of the fire-plug.
(FYI:  Parking within fifteen feet of a fire hydrant is a $55 fine.  The city is facing a budget crisis, and that fine will probably go up very soon--ed.)

Pg. 151:  "How long is it since you shit on the ocean?"
   "Chops like those," he glowered warningly, "deserve to drop off."

Pg. 160:  "Kockin," as David had learned long ago, was a Yiddish word meaning to sit on the toilet.

Pg. 231:  Shit, pee, fuckenbestit--Stop!

Pg. 249:  "Dot's a lodda bullshit, Pedey."

Pg. 251:  "Aw, hosschit."

Pg. 251:  "Peugh!  Wadda stink!"
(What will the next HDAS have for P.U.?--ed.)

Pg. 252:  "Lemme lay putso."

Pg. 272:  "Mor'n' a zillion rubbuh ben's he had on id, and id wouldn't even go high like dis cellah."
(Is this the M-W 1934 "zillion"?--ed.)

Pg. 281:  "Waddaye shittin' about?" ... "An de nex' time watch out who de fuck yer chas--"

Pg. 291:  "Betcha million dollehs dey're all on Evenyeh D."
(Everyone in 1934 was betting a million dollars on something--ed.)

Pg. 294:  "Big bush under duh belly!"  ..."Fat ass, we seen!  Big--Wuh!  Wadda kinerry!  Wee!  An' duh hull knish!  All de hairs!"
(Not a reference to President George W. Bush--ed.)

Pg. 309:  "Not like my two wenches, sluggish turds!"

Pg. 313:  "Mind yuh own beeswax!"
(RHHDAS first cite for this--ed.)

Pg. 320:  "An' I et ev'y kind o' bread dey is." Leo continued proudly.  "Aitalian bread-sticks, Dutch pummernickel, Jew rye--even watchuh call 'em, matziz--matches--"  He snickered.  "Dey're nuttin but big crackers--D'ja ever eat real spigeddi?"
   "No, wod's dat?"
   "De wops eat it just like pitaters.  An' boy ain' it good!"

Pg. 361:  "Cantchuh see, cock-eye Mulligan?"

Pg. 364:  "Fight!  Fight!  Gib'm, haws-fly!  In de kishkis--nudder one!"

Pg. 371-372:  Fuhgimbestit, it's him!"

Pg. 377:  WISH I had a potsee, a potsee.

Pg. 413:  "A putz!"

Pg. 416:  "Dintcha ever hear o' the Spanish Fly--"

Pg. 422:  "Shit!"

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