Of minks and stoats

Alison Murie sagehen7470 at ATT.NET
Sun May 10 22:26:43 UTC 2009

On May 10, 2009, at 4:08 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at MST.EDU>
> Subject:      Of minks and stoats
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>   With regard to minks and their hypersexuality, I once came across
> an insult uttered in the House of Commons:
> "The right honorable gentleman has the morals of a stoat."  (a stoat
> = ermine = type of weasel; and minks are closely related to
> weasels).  I sometimes wondered how the morals of a stoat would be
> much different from the morals of any other wild animal, but thanks
> to ads-l (All praise!), I now know.
>   I can locate the exact reference if anyone is curious.  Also, btw,
> this was part of my checking into the origin of the song "Pop Goes
> The Weasel."
> Gerald Cohen
If you'd ever seen a chicken flock laid waste by a weasel, you
wouldn't wonder that its morals might be impugned by the impoverished
owner!  The resemblance of this sort of wanton killling to, e.g.,
certain infamous airstrikes by manned & unmanned aircraft in the
Middle East, may cause some to hesitate to attribute an evil nature to
weasels.  It's hard to see any evolutionary advantage to either of
these behaviors.

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list