Follow-up on sluff - play hooky, slack off

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 23 05:07:12 UTC 2011

On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 10:10 PM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
> "That nigger boy! He's _sloughin'_! He's _sloughin'_! No lollygaggin'
> now!"

Common in '40's-'50's StL BE:

A. John's sick.
B. No, he's not. He's just sloughing.

Discarding as part of the play of a card game was also "sloughing." It
was applied to legally failing to follow suit in order to dump hearts
or other losers and to underplaying a suit in order to turn a trick at
a more strategic point, this being a cool move in both hearts and

The bruz 'n' cuz were aware of the other entendre of "turn a trick,"
but didn't care to be bothered by it, even when some lamous - rhymes
with "famous" - tried for a cheap laugh by pointing it out.

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.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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