"The Buck Stops Here" (ca. 1930)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Apr 21 19:25:19 UTC 2005

I've never seen good evidence to the contrary.

How's that for an "ad ignorantiam" ?


Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Laurence Horn
Subject: Re: "The Buck Stops Here" (ca. 1930)

Can it be confirmed that both this and "passing the buck" are
transfers from poker? Please tell me that this isn't an
etymythology; we all have to cling to *some*thing!


At 10:03 AM -0400 4/21/05, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>On Thu, 21 Apr 2005 09:17:53 -0400, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
>>> > N'archive has such a slogan on the desk of a colonel in a photo on p.
>>> > "26" of the _Reno Evening Gazette_ dated 1 Oct. 1942.
>>>How did you retrieve this? I don't get it when I search for "buck stops
>>I can't remember, but maybe search for "buck stops" or "the buck stops" or
>Searching on "buck stops" pulls it up. The colonel in the photo, by the
>way, is one Col. A. B. Warfield, "commandant of the Lathrop Holding and
>Reconsignment depot at Stockton." In 1931, according to a New York Times
>blurb from that year, he was quartermaster supply officer and general
>superintendent of the Army Transport Service of the New York General Army
>Depot. So it's possible that this is the same fellow with the plaque that
>Jon Lighter found in "Our Army" in the early '30s, since he was a
>prominent enough officer.
>The earliest reference to Truman that I noticed actually gives a different
>wording for the plaque. Drew Pearson's syndicated "Washington
>Merry-Go-Round" column in the Waterloo (Iowa) Courier, Oct. 21, 1945 (p.
>4) said that Truman had recently acquired "a little wooden sign saying,
>'The buck-passing stops here.'" But I've seen pictures of Truman's plaque
>with the expected "buck stops here" wording, so Pearson must have gotten
>it wrong.
>--Ben Zimmer

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around

More information about the Ads-l mailing list