[Ads-l] paddy wagon

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 28 20:40:30 EDT 2017


I'd be very surprised to see "paddy wagon" applied to a "police car," at
least in the U.S.

BTW, the predecessor of the "paddy wagon" was the "Black Mariah." A
different "slur"?

My grandparents used "paddy wagon," but both were familiar with "Black
Mariah" from NYC in the '90s.

(That's "1890s.")

JL



JL

On Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 7:13 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

> In April 2015 Stephen Goranson initiated a discussion thread about
> "paddy wagon" by presenting some intriguing citations:
>
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2015-April/136543.html
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> Though "paddy wagon" came to be associated with police vehicles, some
> early uses associate it with wheelbarrows. OED (via Sam Clements) has
> 1909 for "paddy wagon."
> [End excerpt]
>
> I presented some complementary matches for "Paddy's wheelbarrow".
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2015-April/136625.html
>
> The OED has the following definition for "paddy" and notes that it can
> be derogatory.
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> paddy, n.2
> 1. colloq.
>  a. Usually in form Paddy. An Irishman. Frequently used as a
> derogatory form of address.
> 1714   in R. Steele Poetical Misc. 201   Poor Paddy swears his whole
> Week's Gains away.
> [End excerpt]
>
> Here is the OED information for "paddy wagon" which is listed under
> "paddy, n.2".
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> paddy wagon  n. slang (orig. U.S.) a police van or car.
>
> 1909   Chicago Tribune 12 Sept. v. 3/1   Don't it make you think of
> the paddy wagon going down the street to pinch a gambling joint?
> [End excerpt]
>
> Garson
>
>
> On Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 5:09 PM, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Even if it's true that it's a reference to Irishmen, they were typically
> hired as policemen who manned and operated the police wagons, so it's more
> descriptive than derogatory. Not every race/ethnic reference is a slur.
> > ________________________________
> > From: Wilson Gray<mailto:hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> > Sent: ‎7/‎28/‎2017 15:54
> > To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Subject: Re: paddy wagon
> >
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> > Subject:      Re: paddy wagon
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> -------------------
> >
> > I wonder when Al discovered that it was a slur? I spent the greater
> portion
> > of my life thinking that _paddy-wagon_ < "patty-wagon" < "patrol-wagon,"
> > with no reference to race or ethnicity. I've been familiar with _paddy_
> > itself since the beginning of time, but only as a synonym of e.g. _fade_
> > "white person" (as opposed to _shade_ "black person").
> >
> > On Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 4:29 PM, Jonathan Lighter <
> wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> The Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC's _Deadline: White House_:
> >>
> >> "[Now President Trump is] talking about 'paddy wagons' which, by the
> way,
> >> is a *slur*, Mr. President!"
> >>
> >> JL
> >>
> >> --
> >> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."
> >>
> >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> 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
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> 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."

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list