[Ads-l] Query: Slang "insect promenade"

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Sat Jan 21 11:24:30 EST 2017

First, thanks for the replies to my query.  In the meantime, I think I

see what the poet had in mind by writing my insect promenade.

Last night I remembered that buzz is a criminal slang term (as a noun

it means thief, esp. a pickpocket, and as a verb to buzz a person is

to pick his pocket; see Eric Partridge, Dictionary of the Underworld.)

Now, in the poem the author had been walking around a bit that

night (that's the promenade) and had just stolen all the money

from the victim's pockets (i.e., he buzzed him).  Once we get

buzz into the picture, the rationale for insect becomes clear.

The insect promenade therefore refers to a buzzing excursion, or

more specifically, to an excursion in which the opportunity for

buzzing unexpectedly arose.

Gerald Cohen

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Cohen, Gerald Leonard
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2017 6:36 PM
Subject: Query: Slang "insect promenade"

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Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       "Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at MST.EDU>
Subject:      Query: Slang "insect promenade"

A poem titled "The Rhyme of the Rusher" (1892) is marked by rhyming slang

and cant. One particular item is unclear to me: "insect promenade."  What i=

the world does that mean?

The relevant lines are (and btw, mince pies = eyes]:

And I smiled as I closed my two mince pies

In my insect promenade.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Gerald Cohen

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