perfect synonyms--chamber pot

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jul 11 18:48:52 UTC 2009

I remember "slopjar" from my childhood and youth, too. In the warm
seasons, they were a convenience, since we were fortunate that our
indoor plumbing was actually connected to the town's mains. (Other
black people had indoor plumbing, but, because the town somehow never
got around to connecting it to the mains, they had to use wells,
springs, slopjars, and privies *the year around*.) In the cold months,
they were a necessity, since water and sewage had to be turned off by
the householder at the first frost, lest the piping freeze and burst.
Instead of having basements, black people's houses stood on brick -
middle-class - or wooden - everyone else - pilings, so that
under-house piping was exposed to below-freezing temperatures. We drew
water from our back-porch well during the cold months.

Segregation was so rigidly enforced that I can't even hazard a WAG as
to how local white people lived, whatever their social class. You
know, there wasn't even mail delivery of any kind, except for "airmail
special," in the colored part of town. I'd forgotten about that.


On Sat, Jul 11, 2009 at 6:44 AM, Margaret Lee<mlee303 at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Â  Â  Â  Margaret Lee <mlee303 at YAHOO.COM>
> Subject: Â  Â  Â Re: perfect synonyms--chamber pot
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Since 'slapjack' can mean chamber pot, I remember such a container being ca=
> lled a 'slop jar' in my childhood. Can this be a variation of 'slapjack'?
> =A0
> --Margaret Lee
> ________________________________________
> --- On Fri, 7/10/09, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: perfect synonyms
> Date: Friday, July 10, 2009, 3:50 PM
> I can now reveal two comparably synonymous English words. They are
> so mundane, however, that no one will be impressed.
> The envelope please:
> "Flapjack" and "slapjack."
> Objection: whereas "gorse" and "furze" have the virtue of always meaning
> each other, "slapjack" can also mean "chamberpot."=A0 At least that's what =
> the
> late Fred Cassidy told me many years ago.
> Gorse/furze, flapjack/slapjack.=A0 I guess it's...a toss-up.
> JL
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