New words from Sleepy Hollow

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 21 13:46:24 UTC 2014

I meant "little people" in a Casablancan sense.

Also, to us New York City natives, "upstate" begins north of the Bronx.

Admittedly, though, Sleepy Hollow ("North Tareytown" till recently) isn't
too deep into the wilderness.

Which reminds me: a few weeks back it turned out that the lost colony of
Roanoke was still functioning in some kind of time warp in the wilderness
of a nearby National Park.

"So what?" you say.  Here's what: They're still speaking *Middle English*!
 Fortunately, Ichabod had studied it at Oxford and was fluent, but for the
rest of us the show provided full subtitles.

What I could understand sounded plausibly like Middle English. But maybe it
was just TV pidgin-Middle.

Another thesis suggestion from the idea bank.


On Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 9:42 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> 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: New words from Sleepy Hollow
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 1/20/2014 08:13 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> >Or not so new. Who cares?
> >
> >It's the TV show about a resurrected Ichabod Crane whose Wiccan wife
> >Katrina gives him advice from Purgatory as he tries each week, with foxy
> >African-American police detective Abbie Mills, to thwart the demon Moloch
> >who's been unleashed on upstate New York
> Seems to be mis-set.  Sleepy Hollow isn't very "upstate".  Although
> perhaps Purgatory is.
> >to bring about the End Times with
> >help from the Headless Horseman of the Apocalypse - who was "killed"
> >fighting for the Brits in the Revolution before *he* was resurrected in
> >2013 but luckily George Washington's secretly coded Bible can be used
> >against both of them.
> >
> >Last week:
> >
> >"A boondoggle is an exercise in futility, a timesuck, a fool's errand."
> >
> >(So "timesuck" is now thought to be more familiar than "boondoggle."
> >400,000 raw Google hits.)
> >
> >"We weren't exactly besties back then." (Best friends. 2,000,000 raw
> >Googlits.)
> >
> >"We need your A-game!"  (Your best and most comprehensive effort [to beat
> >Moloch]. Maybe a hundred thou RG's: hard to search for.)
> >
> >Next time they may explain why two little people - one of them magically
> >resurrected -
> Dutch bowler interlopers from Rip Van Winkle?  Or does "little
> people" mean something else?
> Joel
> >trying to stop the Apocalypse with the help of a dead Witch
> >isn't blasphemy.
> >
> >JL
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