"ham and egger" -- horse lingo

Geoffrey Nunberg nunberg at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Mon May 3 20:27:32 UTC 2004

I had this message from Al Lubrano of the Philadelphia Inquirer -- he
wanted to know about "ham and egger," which was used as a
self-description by Pat Champman, the owner of Kentucky Derby winner
Smarty Jones, as well as whether there was any list of racing-related
slang. If anyone can help him with any of this, please copy him as
well, since he's under deadline.

Geoff Nunberg

From: "Lubrano, Al" <alubrano at phillynews.com>
To: nunberg at csli.stanford.edu
Subject: horse lingo
Date: Mon, 3 May 2004 16:03:22 -0400

         Hi, Geoffrey:

                 You asked me to email you regarding "ham and egger,"
and other horse- or horse race-related phrases.

         From the Web, Coal Speak (a dictionary of coal terms)--ham
and egger : a somewhat derogatory term, used as a put-down for a
person. Comes from the old days when miners held boxing matches. The
winner got money, the loser got a ham and egg meal.

                 I wanted to know whether this is an Eastern coal
regionalism, and how else it's been used (I'm pretty sure Stallone
used it in "Rocky" to describe himself. Also, I'm looking for other
terms that might be horse-related.

                 Thanks so much.

                 Alfred Lubrano
                 Philadelphia Inquirer

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