Query---"tap" = possum?

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at UMR.EDU
Sun Dec 2 18:21:30 UTC 2007

Many thanks for the replies on the creature "tap."  Also, yesterday my non-cousin Norm Cohen wrote me:

<snip>  The internet is can be a wonderful resource--all
those quotations from Turkey in the Straw and related songs; trouble is,
most of the websites give no original source or date.  So one never knows
what preceded what.  But top is cerainly short for terrapin, as Billy
Golden's 1896 (and later) recordings of  "Turkey in the Straw" convinced me:
                As I was gwine down the road
                I met Mister Topin and I met miss Toad
                Every time Mis' Top' would sing
                The old toad cut de pigeon wing.

* * ** *

Gerald Cohen

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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