[Ads-l] lizard tails & dixie cups

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sat Feb 25 09:39:48 EST 2017

Something I read about the assassination of that unfortunate North Korean
referred to the assassins as "lizard tails" -- which can be shed without
any loss to the lizard.  Where I read this is a mystery -- I can't find it,
searching the NYTimes, I don't read anything else that covers current
events, I don't watch TV news -- so, I'm baffled, but, for what it's worth,
here it is.  Speaking of what it's worth, this may of course be an
expression used only by Korean-speaking hirers of assassins.

Anyway, it put me in mind of "dixie cup", which I encountered in a crime
novel I read maybe 25 years ago, title and author now forgotten.  The
author was identified as a retired cop who had worked a Brooklyn precinct.
Fairly early on in the book, the crime-solver has to go into the Central
Library of the Brooklyn Public system, I think to look at an old
newspaper.  Before he can reach the microform room, he is astonished by an
extraordinary display of Egyptian antiquities.  The novel doesn't go on to
explain that the cabbie had let the guy off at the wrong corner, and I gave
up on it.  (For the Manhattan people out there, and the rest of you who
have never been in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Museum, which does have an
extraordinary collection of Egyptian and other ancient Near Eastern art, is
at the other end of a very long block from the Brooklyn Public.)  The novel
involves a mob hit.  The guy who orders the hit tells his talent agent to
give the job to a "dixie cup", who can be thrown away after the hit is
done, murdered before he can squeal.

So I am offering here a couple of related expressions which I can't
document.  Make of them what you will.  Neither expression is in HDAS.


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.

But when aroused at the Trump of Doom / Ye shall start, bold kings, from
your lowly tomb. . .
L. H. Sigourney, "Burial of Mazeen", Poems.  Boston, 1827, p. 112

The Trump of Doom -- affectionately (of course) known as The Dunghill
(Here's a picture of one.)

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list