"Bear market" in NY Times

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Sun Feb 22 17:49:39 UTC 2004

     The origin of stock-market "bear" is already well recognized:
"bearskin jobber" (shortened to "bear")--someone who would sell the
bearskin before
having caught the bear, i.e., someone selling something he didn't yet have,
i.e., in the stock-market, someone selling a stock he didn't own,
i.e., selling short.

   Selling short is of course done when one expects the price to go
down, i.e., one is bearish on the prospects of the stock.

    For an overall discussion of stock-market "bull" and "bear", see
my article "Possible Origin of Stock Market _Bull_ In a Proverb: 'He
That Bulls The Cow Must Keep The Calf' (i.e., He's Stuck With
Something He Might Not Want." in: _Studies in Slang, part VI_ (=
Forum Anglicum, vol. 24), edited by Gerald Leonard Cohen and Barry A.
Popik. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1999. pp.54-60.

Gerald Cohen

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