Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 5 15:10:33 UTC 2010

Excellent article, Ben. Here is an example of "shellac" in the domain
of baseball in 1923. Interestingly, the score is only 2-0, a shutout.
During a quick scan of the difficult to read text I was only able to
locate "shellac" in the headline.

Cite: 1923 Jun 25, The Hartford Courant, "LUQUE'S STREAK ENDS WHEN
CUBS SHELLAC REDS, 2 TO 0", Page 12, Hartford, Conn. (ProQuest)

Here is an example in May 1924 where the score is 11-0. That is an
old-fashioned shellacking (perhaps new-fashioned in 1924).

Cite: 1924 May 26, The Hartford Courant, "GIANTS BEAT REDS IN NINTH;
CUBS SHELLAC BOSTON BRAVES", Page 15, Hartford, Conn. (ProQuest)


On Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 10:33 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: shellacking
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 12:07 PM +0000 11/5/10, Charles C Doyle wrote:
>>Obama's use of the gerund "shellacking" sounded so ordinary to me
>>that I was surprised at all the attention the word is receiving!  I
>>have known and used it (in that sense) all my life.
>>Might it be limited (or have become limited since the 1920s), to
>>Southern and African American dialects?
> No.  At least not for those non-African American non-Southerners who
> follow any sports at all.
> Oops, I see further down in my mailer that Jon and Ron already
> covered this ground.  What they said.
> LH
>>From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of
>>Ben Zimmer [bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU]
>>Sent: Friday, November 05, 2010 12:59 AM
>>Obama's reference to the Democrats' electoral "shellacking" is the
>>inspiration for my latest Word Routes column:
>>I've found the "beating" sense going back to 1924, in boxing circles.
>>Antedatings welcome, as always.
>>The American Dialect Society -
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> The American Dialect Society -

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