Remarkable Citation for "Tiddlywink," etc.

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Sat Sep 21 02:15:49 UTC 2013

The OED has, with regard to "Tom and Jerry":

"The title of Egan's original work (1821) is ‘Life in London, or Days and
Nights of Jerry Hawthorne and his elegant friend Corinthian Tom’; that of
the continuation of 1828 is ‘Finish to the Adventures of Tom, Jerry, and
Logic’, whence app. the order of the names in Tom and Jerry."

This ignores the (exceptionally popular) dramatization of Egan's work by
William Thomas Moncrieff in 1821 or 1822, _Tom and Jerry Or, Life in London,
an Operatic Extravaganza in Three Acts_, though not, I think, published as a
text till sometime later.

The appearance of "Tom and Jerry" as a drink in Fred's extract predates the
earliest OED citation in this sense (1862), as does the occurrence of "Ram
Jam", for which the earliest OED citation is 1860.

Robin Hamilton


Shapiro, Fred:

...      Remarkable Citation for "Tiddlywink," etc.

I have not yet had a chance to figure out all the etymological implications
of this remarkable citation, which stems from the epochal deregulation of
the sale of beer in Britain in 1830.  Besides antedating the word
"tiddlywink" by 13 years, I think it calls into question the previously
accepted history of the game of "tiddlywinks"; significantly antedates and
calls into question some of the OED's etymological speculation relating to
"tom and jerry"; significantly antedates "hokey pokey"; and antedates
"beer-shop."  The 1832 citation for "tiddlywink" I posted in another email
also antedates "shove-halfpenny."

The "tiddlywink" citation is of special significance to me, because, as
anyone who knows the odd details of my life story knows, it was researching
the history of this word that first led me to become a contributor to the

Fred Shapiro

tiddlywink (OED 1844)

1831 _Jackson's Oxford Journal_ 26 Nov. (19th Century British Newspapers)  A
beer-shop has recently been opened in Wells-street, Hackney, called "The
Hokee Pokee and a Pot of Mild;" where ales are sold, bearing the following
quaint names, at per pot, viz.: "Hokee Pokee, sixpence; Ram Jam, fivepence;
Tom and Jerry, fourpence; and Tiddley-wink, three-pence; drawn mild in your
own pots."

Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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