[Ads-l] paddy wagon

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jul 30 10:01:53 EDT 2017


> On Jul 30, 2017, at 9:09 AM, Margaret Winters <mewinters at WAYNE.EDU> wrote:
> 
> Scanning a problem too with "They call the wind Mariah with a(n) [aj], not be be confused with a problem like Maria
or with the name that I’ve just met a girl with"
> 
> 
> MARGARET E WINTERS
> Professor Emerita French and Linguistics
> Wayne State University
> Detroit, MI  48202
> 
> mewinters at wayne.edu<mailto:mewinters at wayne.edu>
> 
> On Jul 29, 2017, at 3:32 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU<mailto:laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>> wrote:
> 
> And no relation to the Mariah they call the wind, given the spelling. In fact, the original version of the song went “They call the wind Mariah with an <h> to distinguish it from the black paddy wagon”, but it didn’t scan.
> 
> LH
> 
> On Jul 29, 2017, at 1:56 PM, Margaret Winters <mewinters at WAYNE.EDU<mailto:mewinters at WAYNE.EDU>> wrote:
> 
> According to Wikipedia (s.v. black mariah):
> 
> Black Maria, a slang term for a police van<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_van> used to transport prisoners, originally these were horse drawn and so could take some time to arrive at a crime scene. “Black Maria” was a famous racehorse of the day, born in Harlem USA in 1826. The name was sardonically applied to the police carriages (which were also usually colored black).
> 
> 
> For what it is worth, the site World Wide Words (http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-bla1.htm) likes this story too since the dates for the race horse and the van are properly in line.  They deny any suggestion about a woman named Mariah (black or white) and mention the song only to provide a guide to the pronunciation of the name (not to be confused with "Ave Maria").
> 
> World Wide Words: Black Maria<http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-bla1.htm>
> www.worldwidewords.org<http://www.worldwidewords.org>
> Where does the slang term 'Black Maria' for a police van come from?
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ----------------------------
> MARGARET E WINTERS
> Former Provost
> Professor Emerita - French and Linguistics
> Wayne State University
> Detroit, MI  48202
> 
> mewinters at wayne.edu<mailto:mewinters at wayne.edu>
> 
> 
> 
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>> on behalf of paul johnson <paulzjoh at MTNHOME.COM<mailto:paulzjoh at MTNHOME.COM>>
> Sent: Saturday, July 29, 2017 1:04 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Subject: Re: paddy wagon
> 
> Was that the same Mariah that the wind was named?
> 
> 
> On 7/29/2017 11:27 AM, Margaret Winters wrote:
> Geoff Nathan and I wondered about who Mariah was - it came up after this thread started, of course.
> 
> 
> ----------------------------
> MARGARET E WINTERS
> Former Provost
> Professor Emerita - French and Linguistics
> Wayne State University
> Detroit, MI  48202
> 
> mewinters at wayne.edu<mailto:mewinters at wayne.edu>
> 
> 
> 
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>> on behalf of Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM<mailto:wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>>
> Sent: Friday, July 28, 2017 8:40 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Subject: Re: paddy wagon
> 
> 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<mailto: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<mailto: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><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<mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM<mailto: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<mailto: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."
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> 
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
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> -Mark Twain
> 
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> 
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> 
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> --
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