Confidence Man, Over My Dead Body

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sat May 4 00:36:00 UTC 2002

   From Ben Brantley's theater review of RICKY JAY: ON THE STEM (as in "the
main stem," as in Broadway--ed.), in THE NEW YORK TIMES, 3 May 2002, pg. E6,
col. 3:

   They are the phantoms who helped make New York a world capital of show-off
sham: pickpockets, side-show managers, illusionists, card sharks and
   So we learn about a fellow named Thompson, who in the mid-19th century
introduced the term "confidence man" into the American vocabulary, and about
the first woman known to use the phrase "over my dead body."

(OED has "confidence man" from 1849 and "over my dead body" from 1833.
Ricky, got a number on any cites?  David Shulman is a friend of Ricky Jay's
and has told me that Jay has a tremendous library.  We'll try to see the
show, although it's sold out--ed.)

More information about the Ads-l mailing list