[Ads-l] Antedating of "Craps" (Game)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jun 11 22:04:36 EDT 2018


And is the general consensus that the etymology, to the extent that we make an educated guess, is from “crabs” for snake eyes (a 1-1 roll)?  That’s what I get out of the OED entries anyway (along with a cautionary o.o.o.).  Interesting lexical ambiguity for “crap-house” too (the two denotations listed in separate OED entries) even if it’s probably not used too often to describe the locus of a craps game.

LH  

> On Jun 11, 2018, at 9:23 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> Great citation, Fred. Fascinating find, Peter.
> 
> Here is a citation mentioning a "craps table" in June 1841 in the
> locale of New Orleans, Louisiana. (Please double check everything for
> errors before using this data.)
> 
> Date: Friday, June 18, 1841
> Publication: The Daily Picayune (The Times-Picayune)
> Location:  New Orleans, Louisiana
> Article; Criminal Court
> Quote Page 2, Column 2
> Database: Newspapers.com
> 
> https://www.newspapers.com/image/25561895/?terms=craps
> 
> [Begin excerpt]
> Proof was given of the prisoner's hand having been seen in Corbett's
> pocket, but there was no evidence that he took the money, and as it
> was at a craps table, the jury must have presumed he lost it in some
> other way, so they returned a verdict of "Not Guilty."
> [End excerpt]
> 
> In November 1841 the phrase "craps may be against him" was used when a
> gambler was described. It seems to mean "bad luck may be against him".
> 
> Date: Sunday, November 7, 1841
> Publication: The Daily Picayune (The Times-Picayune)
> Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
> Quote Page 2, Column 2
> Database: Newspapers.com
> 
> [Begin excerpt]
> There, too, is the blackleg or, as he is called in more fashionable
> phrase, the professional gambler who endeavors to dress like a fop and
> look like a gentleman, but fails in both he has just arrived, to
> commence the winter operations. He seems to anticipate success, though
> "craps may be against him" before the winter is over.
> [End excerpt]
> 
> Here is another citation referring to the loss of money at a "craps
> table" in December 1841.
> 
> Date: Thursday, December 16, 1841
> Publication: The Daily Picayune (The Times-Picayune)
> Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
> Quote Page 2, Column 4
> Database: Newspapers.com
> 
> https://www.newspapers.com/image/25535527/?terms=craps
> 
> [Begin excerpt]
> The Latest Saw.--The latest "saw," run in "these diggings" was that of
> which a Western man was made the victim on Tuesday night. He entered
> Recorder Bertus' office yesterday, with a face as long and lugubrious
> as if he owned stock in the U. S. Bank, or had left a craps table with
> empty pockets.
> [End excerpt]
> 
> In June 1842 a tax was levied on "keepers of all games of Craps".
> 
> Date: Wednesday, June 29, 1842
> Publication: The Daily Picayune (The Times-Picayune)
> Location:  New Orleans, Louisiana
> Quote Page 2, Column 2
> Database: Newspapers.com
> 
> https://www.newspapers.com/image/25535852/?terms=craps
> 
> [Begin excerpt]
> At the sitting of the First Municipality Council on Monday evening an
> ordinance introduced by Mr. Cruzat was passed, imposing a tax or
> license of $2008 per annum on the keepers of all games of Craps, and
> of $3000 on all games of Keno, within the limits of the Municipality.
> [End excerpt]
> 
> Garson
> 
> 
> On Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 8:05 PM, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> Precursor.
>> 
>> 
>> Theophilus Swift, The Gamblers, a Poem: with notes critical and explanatory, London, S. HOoper, 1777, page 7, footnote to line 101. HathiTrust
>> 
>> 
>> [Excerpt - lines 101-102]Then Hazard rose, and Crabs and Doctors sprung: But not as yet the rage of Play had stung.[End Excerpt]
>> 
>> 
>> [Excerpt - Footnote to line 101] Crabs.] A losing throw to the Main, in the profound Science of Hazard, is called Crabs. [End excerpt]
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> ________________________________
>> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
>> Sent: Monday, June 11, 2018 4:45 PM
>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>> Subject: Antedating of "Craps" (Game)
>> 
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
>> Subject:      Antedating of "Craps" (Game)
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> 
>> craps (game) (OED 1843)
>> 
>> 
>> 1842 _Newark_ (N.J.) _Daily Advertiser_ 6 Dec. 1/2  The common game of _cra=
>> ps_ in New Orleans (resembling the English "hazard") has been pronounced ga=
>> mbling by the conviction of a noted house on the 25th ult.
>> 
>> 
>> Fred Shapiro
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
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>> 
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> 
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