"fork *up*" (July 1837), and other slang

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton2 at BTINTERNET.COM
Tue Mar 2 02:08:19 UTC 2010

From: "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>

> P.S.  Robin Hamilton wrote earlier:
>>Actually, I'm wrong on "tip" [as "give"], come to think of it -- it
>>comes into "Of the
>>Budge" (often miscalled "The Budg and Snudge Song") about 1673 --
> The OED has tip v.4 sense 1.b., "With a coin or sum of money as obj.
> (Hence sense 2, in which the person, here the indirect or dative,
> becomes the direct obj.) Also with up and absol." -- with quotations
> 1610 ROWLANDS Martin Mark-all Eiv, Tip a make ben Roome Coue, Giue a
> halfepeny good Gentlemen.
> 1673 R. HEAD Canting Acad. 13 Tip him no Cole, give him no Money.

Hm ...  I'll have to look again at Rowlands (and I'd agree _Martin Mark-All_
is by him rather than Samuel Rid or S.R.), but the whole phrase Rowlands
gives is [characteristically] just that bit off -- while "bene" and "rum"
both occur (and both mean "good", though "bene" is more usually applied to
things and "rum" to people) and "rum cove" is pretty common for "gentleman",
I can't ever remember another case of "bene" + "rum", let alone the entire
"bene Roome Coue" phrase.  So if Rowlands uses the term "tip" in 1610, and
it's not used again before Head in _The Canting Academy_ (it's not in Head's
gloss in _The English Rogue_ in 1665, for what that's worth), I'd still be
prepared to argue that "tip" in this sense is a word which enters the cant
lexis, along with a set of other terms, round about the 1660/1670s, where
Head is the first to be recorded printing it, both in the gloss in _The
Canting Academy_ and in his printing of "Of the Budge", and his gloss to
that, in the same work.

But more on that when I finish revisiting your original passage, which I'm
still working at.  Do you have a URL for it?  I can't seem to find it via
google, and I'd like to know the context.


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

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