[Ads-l] _on the bone_ "ithyphallic"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jun 18 22:19:42 EDT 2017

Poor Merkle.  It wasn’t even a boner as such, although in the end it was embarrassing.  From what I understand, it was standard practice at the time for a runner at first to walk or jog off the field without touching second after (what we would now call) a walk-off hit when the winning run crossed the plate, but Johnny Evers, the Cubs’ second baseman, saw the opportunity to have Merkel forced out, although whether or not he achieved this properly remains unclear.  Here’s the wiki entry showing how complicated it all was, both at the time and in retrospect.  Note the line on interpretation of the force rule:

'Future Hall of Fame umpire Bill Klem said Merkle's boner was "the rottenest decision in the history of baseball"; Klem believed that the force rule was meant to apply to infield hits, not balls hit to the outfield.’ 

Of course that was just 1908 (or whenever Klem laid down his opinion); there have been plenty of contenders for rottenest decision since then.


P.S.  According to the wiki article on Merkle himself, 'Merkle committed a base-running error that became known as "Merkle's Boner" and earned him the nickname "Bonehead”.’
Could have been worse—at least they didn’t call him “Bonerhead”.
P.P.S.  There’s a bar named for Merkle—in Chicago.  As it happens, that 1908 pennant resulted in the last World Series the Cubs would win for 108 years.

> On Jun 18, 2017, at 10:03 PM, Jim Parish <jparish at SIUE.EDU> wrote:
> Cf. the 1908 "Merkle boner", a baserunning error by Giants player Fred Merkle which ultimately cost his team the NL pennant.
> Jim Parish
> On 6/18/2017 8:58 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>> Back in my day,  "boner" was a common and polite term for an embarrassing
>> error.
>> No more. (Of course, I exaggerate; but it's been decades since I last heard
>> someone say it.)
>> JL
>> On Sun, Jun 18, 2017 at 12:27 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Now in the UD, since 2006, in fact:
>>> Urban Dictionary: on the bone
>>> www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=on%20the%20bone
>>> Having an erect penis; having a boner; having a hard on [sic]; being on
>>> hard.
>>> I first heard this in 1947. In fact, that's the *only* time that I've ever
>>> heard it. But I found it quite catchy. Among black men of my generation,
>>> _on hard_ is the ordinary use. I first heard _boner_ in the relevant sense
>>> at UC Davis in 1969, and both _to bone_ and _bone-room_ in the 1988 movie,
>>> School Daze.
>>> --
>>> -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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list