James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Wed Jan 21 19:57:12 UTC 2004

In a message dated 1/20/04 20:19:58  Eastern Standard Time,  "Mark A. Mandel"
<mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU> writes:

> I asked for a definition of "boney-ize", for which Barry submitted a
>  cite. Doug Wilson wrote:
>  > This would seem to be a variant of "boney" (v. t.) (also "boney-eye")
>  > = "claim possession of" (in DARE).
>  > Etymology? From Napoleon's name? (^_^)
>  So I wondered, too, but (1) why? and (2) it's still just speculation.

The armies of "Boney" Bonaparte overran and plundered most of Europe and
hence it is plausible that "to boney-ize" could mean "to take without permission".
 The only evidence I have for this explanation is that the expression seems
to have died out in the 20th Century, when two World Wars produced examples of
conquering armies that distracted people from previous generation's automatic
Napoleonic metaphors.  Perhaps someone might find a more recent cite for "to
Russian steamroller-ize".

      - Jim Landau

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