[Ads-l] Daisy cuter bombs

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 9 05:00:56 UTC 2016


Below is an instance of "daisy cutter" referring to an explosive shell
in a newspaper in 1900. The author of the article was discussing a
battle that took place in 1862, but the terminology was not
necessarily employed at that time.

Date: March 29, 1900
Newspaper: The National Tribune
Newspaper Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Article: Old Peninsular Days
Author: J. A. Wright, 1st Minn.
Quote Page 3, Column 3
Database: Newspapers.com

https://www.newspapers.com/image/46423187/?terms=cutters

[Begin excerpt]
We were stirred up by the booming of guns and the shrieking of shells
as they cut the air with a wild scream, or struck and pounded along
the ground. One of these "daisy cutters" struck a wagon near by loaded
with hardtack, smashing a wheel and tearing to pieces the hind portion
of the box.
[End excerpt]

Garson

On Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 11:32 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Fwd: Daisy cuter bombs
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> JL's magisterial Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang
> (RHDAS) has an entry for "daisy-cutter". JL has a 1785 cite for a
> "horse that does not step high in trotting or running". He has an 1840
> cite for a "fine fellow"; an 1866 cite in the baseball domain for a
> "batted ball that skims along just above the ground". JL notes that
> there exist earlier cites in the cricket domain.
>
> In the military domain a daisy-cutter can be "an antipersonnel
> fragmentation bomb that explodes slightly above ground level". JL has
> a citation in 1917:
>
> [Begin RHDAS excerpt]
> Cushing Surgeon's Jrnl. 192: At No. 61 five bombs had been dropped,
> four with so horizontal a spread--"daisy cutters"--that lying down did
> not suffice to escape fragments.
> [End Excerpt]
>
> Below is a citation I just located:
>
> Date: November 23, 1918
> Newspaper: The Oregon Daily Journal
> Newspaper Location: Portland, Oregon
> Article: PHOTOGRAPHER GOES OVER TOP WITH DOUGHBOYS IN LAST DOORS OF
> THE FIGHT TO GET REAL WAR PICTURES
> Author: Bert Ford
> Quote Page 1, Column 8
> Database: Newspapers.com
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> The doughboys were getting what shelter they could from these craters.
> While in that posture the machine gun bullets were whistling around
> our ears and the German batteries were firing at us point blank. The
> men called these shells 'daisy cutters,' owing to the range of fire.
> [End excerpt]
>
> RHDAS also lists the following sense: "a special-purpose
> high-explosive bomb of tremendous power" with a citation in 1966-67
>
> Garson
>
>
> On Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 9:39 PM, Joel Berson <berson at att.net> wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET>
>> Subject:      Daisy cuter bombs
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> Tell me about daisy cutter bombs.
>>
>>
>> The context for "daisy wound" is GI's of WW II practically cut in half.=C2=
>> =A0 Produced by a daisy cutter bomb?
>>
>> Were such weapons used as early as WW II?=C2=A0 Against Americans?=C2=A0 Or=
>>  might these wounds have been caused by friendly fire?
>>
>> The book using "daisy wound" is not yet in the press (it is currently being=
>>  indexed).=C2=A0 Might the author have picked up his use of "daisy" from to=
>> day, not considering that it would not have been used at the time of WW II?
>>
>> Any other thoughts?
>>
>> Joel
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
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