OED appeals list

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Thu Jun 20 21:26:50 UTC 2002

On Wed, Jun 19, 2002 at 03:53:12PM -0400, Baker, John wrote:

> I noticed that the nominally updated appeal for "to give someone
>one" (=sex) doesn't recognize my antedating to Gilbert & Sullivan's
>Iolanthe ("I heard the minx remark, She'd meet him after dark Inside
>St. James's Park And give him one").

This antedating has been entered in OED, and the relevant entry will
probably be published in next quarter's batch.

>  "Machinable" (capable of being processed by machine) is now
> antedated to 1957.  Here's an antedating to 1920: "while all the
> 400,000 pounds of brass rods which the vendor delivered, except this
> 27,504 pounds, were readily machined, this remnant was not thus
> machinable."  Century Electric Co. v. Detroit Copper & Brass Rolling
> Mills, 264 F. 49, 51 (8th Cir. 1920).

Are you sure this doesn't mean 'capable of being cut by machine tools',
which we have to 1917? I can't quite tell from the context, but it seems
as though this is likely.

> "Muggins" (card game) asks for any information.  Here's what appears
>to be an 1881 cite, though it refers to dice rather than cards: "By
>act approved March the 5th, 1881, and which takes effect ninety days
>after adjournment, that body passed an amendment to articles 364 and
>365 of the Penal Code, which amendment provides: 'If any person shall
>bet or wager * * * money or anything of value * * * at any of the
>following games, viz., poker dice, jack pot, high dice, low dice, low
>die, dominoes, euchre with dominoes, poker with dominoes, sett with
>dominoes, muggins, crack-loo, crack or loo, or at any game of any
>character whatever which can be played with dice or dominoes, or on
>any table, bank, or alley by whatsoever name the same may be known,
>and without reference to how the same may be constructed or operated,
>he shall be fined not less than ten dollars nor more than twenty-five
>dollars; provided, no person shall be indicted under this section for
>playing any of said games with dice or dominoes at a private
>residence.'"  Whitney v. State, 10 Tex. App. 377
>(Tex. Ct. App. 1881).

Given that the word "muggins" in this passage follows several other
forms of domino games, I'd be inclined to think that this is OED2's
_muggins_ 2.b. 'a game of dominoes in which players count by
(multiples of) five', which is attested to 1868.


Jesse Sheidlower

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