[Ads-l] "on-court gags =?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=94_?=or reams, as the players called them "

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 30 15:10:53 UTC 2015

Among other things, to "ream" has long meant to "victimize" in nasty or
painful ways.  Also to "upbraid" furiously.

The Globetrotters' noun, however, is new to me.


On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 1:22 PM, George Thompson <george.thompson at nyu.edu>

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       George Thompson <george.thompson at NYU.EDU>
> Subject:      "on-court gags =?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=94_?=or reams, as the players
>               called them "
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> From the obituary of Meadowlark Lemon in today's NYTimes:
> Within a few years, he had assumed the central role of showman, taking over
> from the Trotters=E2=80=99 long-reigning clown prince Reece Tatum, whom
> eve=
> ryone
> called Goose.
> Tatum, who had left the team around the time Lemon joined it, was a superb
> ballplayer whose on-court gags =E2=80=94 or reams, as the players called
> th=
> em =E2=80=94 had
> established the team=E2=80=99s reputation for laugh-inducing wizardry at a
> championship level.
> (This is referring to the Harlem Globetrotters basketball act.)
> I've tried for years through prayer and fasting to ascend to that glorious
> region where there are complete sets of HDAS, but I remain earthbound.  So
> I may never know whether HDAS has this term.
> --=20
> 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

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list