Heard on The Judges: "perpetrate" = "pretend"; "sporting" = something like "trying to give the impression that one is X"

Marc Velasco marcjvelasco at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 25 02:30:56 UTC 2008

I wonder how much influence _purport/ed/ly_ had in this case.

On 7/23/08, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Heard on The Judges: "perpetrate" = "pretend"; "sporting" =
>              something like "trying to give the impression that one is X"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Mid-twenty-ish, black, male speaker:
> "This my cousin, your honor, but he a fake. He put on fancy clothes
> and go to the bars, hitting on women and _perpretating_ like he a
> player, _sporting_ [spouTIn] to be in the game or something.
> In Saint Louis, "Who you sporting ([spoutn] in StL; [spou_TI_n] is the
> Southern pronunciation) to be?" was a challenge that meant something
> like, "Who the fuck do you think you are?" Or someone might say, "He
> sporting to be bad, but he ain't as bad as he smell."
> It could also be used to mean something like "show off one's prowess
> as a 'laydis man' by appearing at a party with a major chick":
> "Man, it bugged my head (I was filled with envy) when I slid into the
> party and dug Billy sporting Jackie Bonaparte [on his arm]. She puts
> forth a mean thigh!"
> (BIilly, being the only person so named in our male clique, didn't
> need to have his surnamed mentioned. But "Jacqueline" was a very
> common name for girls, back in the day, and Jackies Bonaparte,
> Broussard, Conte-Jean [kant at -dzhan], and Hamilton were all foxy things
> (FWIW, "foxy thing" is the original form, AFAIK, based on a song
> title, _You Foxy Thing_), ca.1951-52?. So, specification of the
> surname was required.
> (Though physically unprepossessing, except for being very tall, Billy
> was a stone player, having an unmatchable talent for dancing, having
> such an unparalleled comic sensibility that he was nicknamed "Jerry
> Lewis," and with nerves of steel when it came to dealing with girls:
> "Oh, Billy!'; "Stop, Billy!"; "You're not supposed to do that, Billy!"
> The rest of us ate our hearts out.
> (Unfortunately, he grew up to be an alcoholic, wife-beating crackhead
> who died in the gutter in his fifties.)
> -Wilson
> --
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -----
> -Sam'l Clemens
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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