Actionable Offenses: Scrouge

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Jul 8 03:56:31 UTC 2008

This is very interesting (thanks). Here are some audio samples.
>         "Scrouge" is a pre-existing word.  OED1 defines it as "To
> incommode by pressing against (a person); to encroach on (a person's)
> space in sitting or standing; to crowd."  Similarly, the Century
> Dictionary says it means "To squeeze; press; crowd."
This is about the same as "scrooch", I think. Is there any relation to
>         <<Sim Hadley on a Racket, a very pathetic recitation by little
> Willy Brown.
>         Hadley:  Heh, heh!  By Jesus, I'll tell you just one thing, that
> is, I ain't going round this double asshole town any longer with my
> pecker on dress parade.  I'm going to sink my sausage if it costs fifty
> cents and I don't give a damn who knows it.  Sim Jones, he told me this
> number four hundred and sixty eight was an assignation whorehouse, I'm
> going in to get a little of that there assignation on the end of my
> pecker.  [Knocking]  By God, if Mandy saw me now there'd be hell in the
> household!  [Knocking]  Come on in there, God damn it, come to the door.
> Oh, look at this coming, there's a face on you, bend a nail, says I.
Why are Hadley and Jones both called "Sim"? Is this just a given name
(and a great coincidence) or is this "Sim" some sort of nickname or title?
>         Madam:  Well, sir, what do you want?
>  ...

>         Madam:  All right, step in the back parlor.  Maud!  Maud!  Maud!
> There's a gentleman in the parlor.
>         Maud:  I'll be down in a minute.  I've got three Spanish fellows
> here buying wine.
Does this have some special meaning?
>         Hadley:  Oh shit, every old bag's named Maud.  [Liner notes
> transliterate as "No shit," which would be a significant antedating, but
> I think it's "Oh" rather than "No."]
> ...

>         Hadley:  And you'll have to get down and blow through it, I
> guess, the damn thing's plugged up or something.
Here is the presumptive predecessor-concept of "blow" = "fellate", I guess.
>         Maud:  Look here, what do you take me for?
>         Hadley:  Oh well, that's all right, then.  I'm going home.  I
> can get done other places.
>         Maud:  You just give me a dollar!
>         Hadley:  You just go and scratch your ass - Jesus, no scrouge,
> no dollar, that's the way it is with me.
>         Maud:  You give me a dollar or I'll have you arrested.
>         Hadley:  You go and shit in your hat, you damn gall bladder!
Here is a new (to me anyway) term of abuse!
>  No dollar, no scrouge, no scrouge, no dollar.>>
>         I noticed only one other unusual usage on the CD, from a set of
> conundrums:
>         <<"By the way, John, what is the difference between a flag and a
> frig?
>         "Well, one is bunting, and the other is cunting!">>
>         Is this an antedating for "cunt" as a verb?
Maybe nonce.

I should buy the CD. Is there a good (preferably cheap) source?

-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society -

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