"Cat faces" on tomatoes (1934)
Mark A. Mandel
mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU
Sun Jan 2 00:57:49 UTC 2005
Barry gives a bunch of citations, including these, here reordered
cat-face (U.S.), a mark in lumber-wood (see quot.);
1879 Lumberman's Gaz. 3 Dec., Logs that have *cat faces or burnt
places..the cat face or knots.
(PROQUEST HISTORICAL NEWSPAPERS)
24 August 1934. Chicago Daily Tribune, pg. 17:
[...] the fruit blotches referred to by the trade as "cat faces."
Found the name of the disfiguration is called "Cat face". ...
_rec.gardens_ (http://groups-beta.google.com/group/rec.gardens) - Sep 21
1993, 10:44 pm by Gayle Chidester - 3 messages - 3 authors
_Forget about taste, Florida says, these tomates are just too ugly to ship.
[...] the lush, vine-ripened UglyRipes have what the industry
calls a "cat face," full of uneven crevices and ridges.
_Gawker : Archive for Media : New York Times_
... And that's what we're calling our movie pitch: "Cat Face: The Little
Tomato That Could."
In the three 1934-1936 citations, all from the Chicago Daily Tribune
(written by the same reporter?), "cat face" is a count nominal; the 1879
lumber citation from the OED has a count use and what may be a non-count
use, "the cat face or knots", or not: the ellipsis there is the OED's, not
The rec.gardens quote is non-count. The other modern ones are all quoting or
derived from the New York Times article, so they aren't independent sources.
(The Gawker cite is furthermore a joke and shouldn't be counted for
anything.) They seem to refer to the appearance of the fruit as a whole.
-- Mark A. Mandel
[This text prepared with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.]
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