[Ads-l] Three rare(?) words

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 19 12:48:55 UTC 2016


"Cockhound" and "cocksman" both appear in HDAS I.

I had only one cite for "ass-master," so it didn't make the cut.  I believe
it was from the '70s.

"Cocksman" in the 1881 stage play is the name (or pseudonym) of a theater
critic.

My Spidey sense advises that neither the publisher nor the printers thought
it had any particular meaning - especially since it was meant to be spoken
on stage in front of a "mixed" audience.

We're talkin' Victorian America, my man!

JL

On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 11:20 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Three rare(?) words
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Actually, _assmaster_ is in Google, from 1987. Saying that it was nowhere
> to be found was merely the first hint of Alzheimer's.
>
> On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 10:59 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> > Subject:      Three rare(?) words
> >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > As I was going to bed, this morning - a normal day for me runs from ca.
> > 1200 hrs to 0400 hrs - a couple of words popped into my mind: _blindism_
> > and _cockhound_. I'd come across the word
> >
> > _blindism_
> >
> > only once in my life: in a story about the then still-Little Stevie
> Wonder,
> > in an issue of EBONY magazine published some time in the mid-'60's. Since
> > this word isn't in OED 2, of which I own a copy of the micro-edition, I
> > wondered whether it was a "real" word or merely a nonce term made up by
> the
> > writer of the article. Googling reveals only about 4,190 results, making
> it
> > relatively rare. One of the hits refs MW3. Hence, the term is clearly
> not a
> > nonce term.
> >
> > The New Outlook for the Blind - Volumes 47-48 - Page 243
> > https://books.google.com/books?id=3DIZEeAQAAMAAJ
> > 1953 - =E2=80=8ESnippet view
> > Frequently, blind children develop mannerisms which, because they are apt
> > to be peculiar to the blind, are commonly referred to as _blindisms_.
> >
> > _Cockhound_ came into my mind because it, too, is a kind of hapax. Back
> in
> > the '60's, this was pretty common in guy-talk in Los Angeles, but I heard
> > it used, one time, by my girfriend of the day, whom I'd known since were
> > both children in StL. So, I knew that she would have preferred to have
> had
> > her tongue torn out, rather than to have used that word, if she had had
> > *any* idea that "cock" was, in that word, just another term for "pussy"
> > and/or "ass" in the obscene, sexual sense. And, of course, such terms
> were
> > *far* more obscene, then, than they are now. Indeed, it was her using
> that
> > word that caused me to assert, in these very pages, that women know
> nothing
> > of slang, when I should have restricted myself to claiming that boojie
> > chicks of my congeries have a bad understanding of the various nuances of
> > male speech.
> >
> > This word is reminiscent of _cocksman_, going back to '03 in the UD and
> to
> > 1896 in the HDAS. The following may be an antedating:
> >
> > Edmund Kean, Or, The Life of an Actor - Page 11-12
> > https://books.google.com/books?id=3DdzI-AAAAYAAJ
> > 1881 - =E2=80=8ERead
> > Miss O'Neill, Mrs. Siddons, and the illustrious Kean. "Kean's frenzied
> > method [didn't know that "method acting" was so old] converted Othello
> into
> > a savage." And what else would he be, I wonder --a squire of dames,
> > perhaps. ... Of course. _Cocksman_.
> >
> > These words, in turn, brought to mind _ass-master_ or however you want to
> > spell it. This term is so rare that it's not in any of the usual
> suspects,
> > as far as I can tell. The only time that I've come across the word was in
> > 1961, when I was stationed in West Germany. A barracks-mate was given the
> > soubriquet, "The Ass-master of Heilbronn," because, naturally, he
> wasn't. A
> > local Kellnerin, "Franzoesin" A.K.A. "Frenchie," of some repute, was
> always
> > trying to seduce him - or not; you never knew - because of his cuteness
> > factor: the smallest man in the unit, with a basso-profundo voice
> carrying
> > a pleasant drawl of North Carolina origin. And he was the only person
> that
> > I've ever met to use "yon" in place of "that."
> >
> > Down home in Texas, the horse-opera cliche, "He went that-a way!" is "...
> > yonder way." Otherwise, "yonder" replaces "there": "It's a man down
> > yonder." "That thing was right yonder, a while ago." "Look (over)
> yonder!"
> > --=20
> > -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
> >
>
>
>
> --
> -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
>



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

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