[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 16:47:03 UTC 2015


"Rum" 'good'  seems never to have been well known in the US outside of
antebellum criminals.

The standard sense of to "ream" (via the slang sense of 'to subject to anal
copulation') seems to me to be sufficient as the origin.

JL

On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 10:49 AM, Robin Hamilton <
robin.hamilton3 at virginmedia.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Robin Hamilton <robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "on-court gags =?utf-8?Q?=E2=80=94_?=or reams, as the
> players
>               called them "
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> This is a bit of a stretch, but might the term George notices be connected
> to the cant term RUM=good (originally mid 16thC, and later goes mainstream
> as meaning "odd")?
>
> GDoS has REAM BLOAK as a spelling variant of RUM BLOKE (Hotton, _Slang
> Dictionary_ [1859]), and a possibly relevant American cite from 1937 -- Lil
> Hardin' Armstrong, lyric, "Born to Swing":  'pick cotton with Georgia
> reams'.
>
> I don't know how late the sense of "rum" as "good" persisted in America,
> but
> if it hung on, it might morph (unrecorded) from an adjective into a noun.
> Over (back) to Jon at this point.
>
> Robin Hamilton
>
>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jonathan Lighter
> Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 3:10 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: "on-court gags — or reams, as the players called them "
>
> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "on-court gags =?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=94_?=or reams, as the
> players
>               called them "
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> 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.
>
> JL
>
> On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 1:22 PM, George Thompson <george.thompson at nyu.edu>
> wrote:
>
> > ---------------------- 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.
> >
> > GAT
> >
> >
> > --=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."
>
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"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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