Q: "Turn the double corner"; and not in OED

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Aug 21 00:11:20 UTC 2013

What is the meaning of "turn the double corner" in the context of
tavern-haunting?  I surmise it derives from the board game of
checkers, which has (two) double corners, but I am not familiar
enough with checkers to uncover the relationship (nor does on-line
information provide me a quick insight).

And "double corner" is not in the OED, even for checkers.  Should it be?

In a tavern "sat <several men> with 6 or 8 more, turning the double
corner, as they call it ..."  From The Old Farmer's Almanack, July
1821; in Kittredge, _The Old Farmer and his Almanack_ (1974; 1920
edition GBooks), p. 275.

Also, in a poem about tavern-haunting described as "an ancient
rhyme", the following two lines:

"You take the dye tub, you the churn,
And I'll the double corner turn."

In Edward Field, ed., _State of Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations at the End of the Century: A History_, Vol. 3, (Boston &
Syracuse: The  Mason Publishing Company, 1902), p. 574.  GBooks.

The "ancient rhyme" must be "Anacreontic to Flip", by Royall Tyler
(1757-1826), which contains these two lines.  See

I have not traced Tyler's poem to its first publication.


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list