[Ads-l] Heard: "bug juice"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 31 08:01:01 UTC 2014

as the term for an elixir that is drunk at sleep-away camp. A casual search
takes it back to 1868 as the name for various kinds of drinks, as a term
for "bug-spray," as a term for "yeast," and as a term for the "honey-dew"
exuded by aphids.

I know it only as old-school slang for "soy sauce," as used by my mother
and others of her congeries. She must have learned it in St. Louis, Asian
food being unknown in the black Marshall, Texas, of both her day and my
day. I used to get my country cousins ROTFLTAO just by naming a couple of
ordinary dishes, like "egg fu-yong" or "kung-pao shrimp" or even
"chop-suey." Even in StL, the first Chinese restaurant in the 'hood, Yee's
Cafe, didn't open till 1950. OTOH, there was the once-stereotypical Chinese
*laundry* that dated back to who-knows-when.
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 - http://www.americandialect.org

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