[Ads-l] Heard: "bug juice"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 31 16:23:26 UTC 2014

HDAS, the most nearly definitive slang reference for the first 15/26 of the
alphabet, has more info on this.


On Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 9:47 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Heard: "bug juice"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 12/31/2014 03:01 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> >as the term for an elixir that is drunk at sleep-away camp.
> Heard by me circa 1950 at sleep-away camps up the Hudson River and in
> far upper Vermont, and spoken by all including natives of New York Ciity.
> >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.
> No point in trying to identify specific ingredients.  That would be
> like trying to determine what was the origin of your college
> cafeteria's "mystery meat".
> Not in OED (which says only "bad whisky"), but in UrbanDictionary,
> "bug juice 2".  The sleep-over-camp comestible came in the same
> vehicle as UrbanDictionary's sense 1:  "A sugary drink mixed in vast
> quantities from a mysterious powder commonly served on US Navy
> vessels in the enlisted men's mess. Can also be used to clean
> brass."  (No, not by ship, but in a powder.)
> My recollection is that we consumers a bright, distasteful red color
> was a necessary characteristic in order to apply the term.
> Joel
> >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.
> >--
> >-Wilson
> >-----
> >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
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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