[Ads-l] Strange use of "hustle"?

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon Aug 24 03:25:03 UTC 2015


"To spare his own bacon, took pussy's two foots,
And out of the ashes he _hustled_ his nuts."

This poem sounds to me to be a version of the "cat's paw" story: that a
monkey wanted some nuts toasting at a fire, but didn't want to burn his
paw, so he used the cat's paws to pull them out.
Therefore, might not "hustle" here mean "obtained by craftiness" -- HDAS
shows that the verb with this sense goes back to 1840.

GAT

On Sun, Aug 23, 2015 at 1:36 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> TRANSACTIONS OF THE WISCONSIN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, ARTS, AND LETTERS - Page
> 133
> https://books.google.com/books?id=m6cWAAAAQAAJ
> 1879 - ‚ÄéRead
> That cunning old pug everybody remembers,
> Who, when he saw chestnuts a-roasting in embers,
> To spare his own bacon, took pussy's two foots,
> And out of the ashes he _hustled_ his nuts.
>
> Not quite the same as
>
> And out of the bedroom he hustled his kids
>
>
> -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
>



-- 
George A. Thompson
The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998..

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


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