"Rosco" (in "Dukes of Hazard") from cant "rosco" (pistol)?
James A. Landau
JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Mon Feb 2 20:40:28 UTC 2004
In a message dated Sun, 1 Feb 2004 15:14:48 -0600, Gerald Cohen
<gcohen at UMR.EDU> writes
> The 1980s TV show Dukes of Hazard included a perpetually bumbling
> sheriff's deputy named Rosco P. Coltrane. I've recently noticed that
> was (perhaps still is) a cant term meaning "pistol, revolver."
> Might this cant "rosco(e)" perhaps lie behind the name Rosco in the TV
> There's of course also "Colt" in his last name "Coltrane."
No, there is no /kolt/ in /'kol tshrein/. Roscoe the coal train runs on the
Roscoe, Snyder, and Pacific Railroad.
Considering the obvious pastiche names in "Dukes of Hazzard" (wasn't there a
"Boss Hawg"? Or am I thinking of a different show?), I seriously doubt that
the show's creators went to such subtle lengths as "rosco" = pistol, although
"Coltrane" conceivably could be a reference to how fast Mr. Roscoe moves.
- Jim Landau
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