[Ads-l] go for a "Burton"--a 1944 etymology guess

Bonnie Taylor-Blake b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 14 13:16:36 UTC 2015

On Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 6:02 AM, Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:

> (As for potential secondary meaning or attestation of Burton, a corresponde=
> nt may wish to mention an oral tradition, noted offlist.)

Ah, I don't know whether I'm the offlist-correspondent you're thinking
of, Stephen, but I'll note here that an 80-something English friend
(who lives over there) once told me of his familiarity with a bit of
rhyming slang holding that "Montague(s)" signifies "curtain(s)."
(Because "[Montague] Burton" rhymes with "curtain.")  So, "pull the
Montagues" means "pull the curtains."  "Montague(s)" signifying
"curtain(s)" may be long lost and little used, but there you go.
(Yes, and "Richard Burton" also means "curtain," but at the time I was
particularly interested in my friend's reference to "Montagues.")

-- Bonnie

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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