pumpkin lads

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sat May 22 16:35:32 UTC 2004

On May 20, 2004, at 5:25 AM, James A. Landau wrote:

> In a message dated Wed, 19 May 2004 18:14:02 -0400,   George Thompson
> <george.thompson at NYU.EDU> quotes
>>  This day, at 12 o'clock, two Boats, the YANKEE and the SNIPE, start
>> from
>> Powles Hook to Courtlandt street wharf, for one hundred Dollars; the
>> former
>> to be rowed with four, and the latter with six oars.  The YANKEE is
>> to be
>> rowed by four pumpkin lads, and is, as yet, the favorite.

i might well have missed this in earlier exchanges, but i'd suggest
finding out where the local pumpkin fields were  in those days and what
sort of young men tended them.

there are, of course, any number of other possibilities, involving the
color of pumpkins (landau's suggestion), a version of "bumpkin", some
connection to pumps, and lord knows what else.

arnold (zwicky at csli.stanford.edu)

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