[Ads-l] 1849 use of "buck" in a "brag" (~=poker) game

Andy Bach afbach at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 9 11:03:28 EDT 2018


Speaking of bucks, Oxford U Press' Anatoly Liberman has a blog entry today,
starting with:

"The buck stops nowhere: it has conquered nearly all of Eurasia. The Modern
English word refers to the stag. At one time, it was a synonym of *he-goat*,
or *Billy goat*. But Old Engl. *buc* “stag” seems to have coexisted with
*bucca* “Billy goat.” Perhaps later they merged. German *Bock* is a rather
general designation of “male animal,” such as “ram” (or “wether”; *wether*
is a nearly forgotten word, though still recognizable in *bellwether*),
“stag,” and others; it is a common second element of compounds like
*Schafbock* (*Schaf* “sheep”). Old Icelandic *bukkr* ~ *bokkr* also meant
“ram.” Those who have read *last week’s post on cow*
<https://blog.oup.com/2018/05/an-interdisciplinary-view-of-cows-and-bulls-part-1-cow/>
(Part 1 of the series) will immediately draw two conclusions. First: the
word probably had a generic meaning, a male horned animal, with the
specialized sense being the result of the more or less unpredictable
narrowing of meaning. Second: *bukkr* ~ *bokkr* has a long consonant (a
*geminate*
<http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199675128.001.0001/acref-9780199675128-e-1320>),
discussed a week ago in connection with Latin *vacca* “cow” (and in
general, *bokk*– and *vacc*– sound rather similar) and may be an expressive
word.

https://blog.oup.com/2018/05/cattle-world-part-2-bucks-bulls-etymology/

On Wed, May 9, 2018 at 9:58 AM, Andy Bach <afbach at gmail.com> wrote:

> > "....The game had progressed for some time, when the 'pot' having been
> doubled and a ten dollar 'buck' had started, the brag had passed to the
> Colonel...."
>
> I wonder if "buck" here means "raise" and then "brag" means the pass/check
> or raise opportunity then goes on to the next player
>
> On Wed, May 9, 2018 at 9:14 AM, Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu>
> wrote:
>
>> The word "buck" has many meanings (including "buck" meaning "dollar,"
>> based on a buckskin trading equivalent in the western U.S. in the early
>> 1800s), here's a possible antedating of "buck" somewhat but maybe not quite
>> as used in the game of poker, here called by the forerunner of poker called
>> "brag."
>>
>>
>> "....The game had progressed for some time, when the 'pot' having been
>> doubled and a ten dollar 'buck' had started, the brag had passed to the
>> Colonel...."
>>
>> Southern Sentinel, Plaquemine, Louisiana, Nov. 29, 1849 p. 1 col. 5.
>>
>>
>> For the full context, see:
>>
>> https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88064476/1849-11-
>> 21/ed-1/seq-1/#date1=1789&sort=date&date2=1963&searchType=
>> advanced&language=&sequence=0&index=2&words=brag+buck&
>> proxdistance=5&rows=20&ortext=&proxtext=brag+buck&phrasetext
>> =&andtext=&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>
>
>
> --
>
> a
>
> Andy Bach,
> afbach at gmail.com
> 608 658-1890 cell
> 608 261-5738 wk
>



-- 

a

Andy Bach,
afbach at gmail.com
608 658-1890 cell
608 261-5738 wk

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


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