Uncle Sugar Rorschach

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 26 00:16:39 UTC 2014

My wife's father preferred "Uncle Sap":

1932 _Chicago Daily Tribune_ (Jan. 3)  12: The indignation takes a moral
turn which would abash even a less sensitive creature than Uncle Sap.

1932  _Evening Tribune_ (Albert Lea, Minn.) (Jan. 27) 8: Is it imagination
or are those old European nations calling the old gentleman Uncle Sap as
they talk about war debt cancellations? ...- Nashville Banner.

1945   _1945 Extension of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act. Hearings
before the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives,
Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, on H. R. 2652, Superseded by H. R.
3240_  (Washington, D.C.: U.S.G.P.O.) II  2417  :   Now, we are just
playing the part of "Uncle Sap" when we give freely and generously to the
entire world every kind of concession that any nation can ask for.

2002 M. Bose & R. Perotti, eds. _From Cold War to New World Order_
(Westport, Conn.: Greenwood) 280: The party's Grand Old "Uncle Sap" line
clearly is alive and well.

2007  [http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070613040422AAit2cA] :
When people refer to the United States as Uncle Sap not as Uncle Sam, what
do they mean by that?

"Uncle Sucker" anyone?:

1936 _Gastonia (N.C.) Daily Gazette_ (Oct. 24) 4: Uncle Shylock had become
Uncle Sucker....Eleven billion dollars of debt had been saddled on the
American people for good or ill.

1940  _Extension of Reciprocal trade agreements act. Hearings before the
Committee on ways and means, House of representatives, Seventy-sixth
Congress, third session, on H.J. Res. 407_
(Washington, D.C.: U.S.G.P.O.) III-IV 2001 :  Mr. GEARHART.The profit that
our foreign neighbors have taken as a consequence of unloading this gold on
Uncle Sam - or, I should say, Uncle Sucker - has been tremendous.

2011 _Huffington Post_ (Mar. 9) [
] :  Potential GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain warned on Tuesday
the country must avoid acting like "Uncle Sucker" in the conduct of its
current military engagements, the Ames Tribune reports. "The United States
has got to stop being Uncle Sucker," he said in response to a question
about American war efforts, during a stop in Iowa, according to the local
outlet. "We put things on the line, we lose lives, and what do we get in

Barry Popik has discovered an ex. of "Uncle Scam" as well. Someone else can
worry about "Uncle Sham."


On Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 3:46 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Uncle Sugar Rorschach
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Jan 25, 2014, at 11:18 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> > At 1/25/2014 10:15 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> >> Mike Huckabee has employed the phrase "Uncle Sugar" in a speech
> lambasting
> >> (wait for it) Democrats for "making [women]  believe that they are
> helpless
> >> without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each
> >> month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or
> their
> >> reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be
> it...."
> >> ...
> >> The point is that people were speculating about 1. what "Uncle Sugar"
> might
> >> possibly mean, and 2. (wait for it) whether it's racist. or 3. (wait for
> >> it) sexist.
> >>
> >> Somebody ventured the opinion that it was a sexist reference to a "sugar
> >> daddy." Anchor Victor Blackwell said he'd thought Mike was comparing the
> >> federal government "to a pimp."
> >
> > Of course it was -- both of the above -- in Huckabee's intent.  He's
> > using it to add these negative associations to "(present) United
> > States government", and thus tar the Democrats.
> >
> >
> >> Conservatives since McCarthy days have used "Uncle Sugar" derisively  to
> >> refer to liberal fiscal and welfare policies.
> >>
> >> That's because "sugar," in the '40s, was still a familiar synonym for
> >> "money." Get it? "Uncle Sugar." How clever!
> >>
> >> Anyway, Cain of CNN lamented Huckabee's use of "an obsolete slang term
> for
> >> the federal government" as the GOP is trying to "improve its brand."
>  Such
> >> usage, he said, "reeks of old man."
> >
> > And "libidinous old man".
> >
> > Also, I have not heard any commentator -- and I would expect feminist
> > commentators to -- ask why women's libidos need controlling but men's
> > do not.  Huckabee I can understand -- after all, to a fundamentalist
> > women's lust is what lures men into sin.
> >
> There's a good column by Gail Collins in today's paper:
> http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/25/opinion/collins-huckabee-spills-the-beans.html
> The first time I heard about Huckabee's speech was in a Huff Post piece a
> few days ago by a woman (I forget who) who indeed pointed to the part of it
> you mention and objected on those very grounds.
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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