[Ads-l] Attention Garson: new postdating of (metaphorical) "prime the pump"

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Fri May 12 20:54:26 EDT 2017


Like first sucking the air out of a siphon in order to get, say, free gasoline from someone else's auto.

Joel

      From: "Baker, John" <JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
 Sent: Friday, May 12, 2017 2:51 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Attention Garson: new postdating of (metaphorical) "prime the pump"
   
One does prime water pumps.  The hand pump, which was once familiar to all Americans, operates by suction:  The rod, which is operated by hand, lifts a piston that is at the top of a column of water, and each time the rod is pumped more water is brought to the outlet.  If there is air below the piston, it will not lift the column of water and the pump will not work.  When the pump is first used, and thereafter whenever there for any reason is not a continuous column of water below the piston, the user must put enough water in the pump for that water column to be created, a process referred to as "priming."  


John Baker


-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Robin Hamilton
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2017 1:42 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: Attention Garson: new postdating of (metaphorical) "prime the pump"

Does one actually prime water [sic] pumps?  I'd always assumed this referred to
priming the pump in a petrol engine, or summat.

Mind you, I may be wrong, as when I was a youngun, pumps of any kind were still
a twinkle in the eye of the future, and we drew water from the well in a bucket.

R.

> 
>    On 12 May 2017 at 15:58 George Thompson <george.thompson at NYU.EDU> wrote:
> 
> 
>    You have to keep in mind that back on the old Trump homestead in Brooklyn,
>    his family had a pump -- that was how Brooklyn people got their water, in
>    olden times, the 1940s & 50s. So he's very familiar with having to prime a
>    water pump, and naturally the metaphor would come to his mind.
> 
>    GAT
> 
>    On Fri, May 12, 2017 at 10:39 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
>    wrote:
> 
>    > From an interview with President Trump (as in Pump) in The Economist [
>    > http://www.economist.com/Trumptranscript]:
>    >
>    > Reporter: But beyond that it’s OK if the tax plan increases the deficit?
>    >
>    > Trump: It is OK, because it won’t increase it for long. You may have two
>    > years where you’ll…you understand the expression “prime the pump”?
>    >
>    > Reporter: Yes.
>    >
>    > Trump: We have to prime the pump.
>    >
>    > Reporter:It’s very Keynesian.
>    >
>    > Trump: We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world. Have you heard that
>    > expression before, for this particular type of an event?
>    >
>    > Reporter: Priming the pump?
>    >
>    > Trump: Yeah, have you heard it?
>    >
>    > Reporter: Yes.
>    >
>    > Trump: Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t
>    > heard
>    > it. I mean, I just…I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought
>    > it
>    > was good. It’s what you have to do.
>    >
>    > Reporter: It’s...
>    >
>    > Trump: Yeah, what you have to do is you have to put something in before
>    > you can get something out.
>    > ------------------------------------------------------------
>    > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>    >
> 
> 
> 
>    --
>    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) also known as The Dunghill
>    Toadstool. (Here's a picture of one.)
> 
>    http://www.parliament.uk/worksofart/artwork/james-gillray/an-excrescence---a-fungus-alias-a-toadstool-upon-a-dunghill/3851
> 
>    ------------------------------------------------------------
>    The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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


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