childhood rhymes

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Aug 1 17:09:03 UTC 2004

>We always used these balls.  They're pink rubber and real bouncy.The
>manufacturer's name, Spalding, is printed clearly on each ball, and that's
>what we called 'em: Spaldings.
>This was in Manhattan in the '50s.
>I've never heard anybody use the word "spaldeen."

"Spaldeen" appears in my RHUD. Newspaper search shows it from 1968 (NYT).
Supposedly the spelling reflects some people's (children's) pronunciation.
I suppose a pronunciation like this is believable (was it what could be
written "Spaldin'" perhaps?), but the standardization is odd: I don't find
"spauldeen", "spaldene", etc. I suppose that the word was popularized by
some writer who invented the spelling "spaldeen" to express somebody's
childhood recollections. Possibly the spelling is modeled on "spalpeen"?

-- Doug Wilson

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