[Ads-l] pull(ing) (off) a PN (Ty Cobb) stunt

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 10 13:36:26 EST 2021


Wasn't this all started with the phrase "do a Brodie", referring to the guy
who claimed to have successfully jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge?

On Wed, Feb 10, 2021, 3:48 AM Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:

> Thanks, Bill. My interests include some uses of "pull(ing)," and yes PN  =
> personal name here.
>
> a) On "pull a PN stunt," or "pull a PN" (without the word "stunt") I'm
> interested in the origin and evolution. For example, some have used to
> "pull a Lewinsky." The name being characteristic of some action. Ty Cobb
> was a versatile player (with characteristic moves?). Was there an earlier
> person who sparked the phrase?
>
> b) On "pull someone's leg," I suppose it has not yet been fully explained.
> Thanks, James Eric, but (pace) I currently do think it came from mariner
> use, and I don't think it came from execution by hanging, which is so
> remote from (OED's) "to deceive a person humorously or playfully; to tease
> a person."
>
> Stephen
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of
> MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY DEVCOM AVMC (USA) <
> 0000099bab68be9a-dmarc-request at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 6:06 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Subject: Re: pull(ing) (off) a PN (Ty Cobb) stunt
>
>
> 15 Mar 1901 Baltimore Sun p 7 col 3
> "For the 29 Archers to practice a William Tell stunt there are 8 apples,
> and in case any of their engines of war are broken in stretching the long
> stave too far there are a couple of bows in the Directory who can be used
> in an emergency."
>
> 03 Jan 1907 Washington DC Evening Star p 16 col 1
> "Will Try the Houdini Stunt" [headline]
>
> Are you interested only in forms "[PN] stunt"?  (I assume that is
> "Personal Name") Or the broader use of a person's name to refer to a
> specific action?
>
>
> 20 Jul 1901 Butte MT Daily Post p 6 col 3
> "With a splash and a gurgle, the disciple of Bachus did a sudden "Brodie"
> into the murky element  . . ."
>   [Steve Brodie supposedly jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge in 1886]
>
>
>
> [14 Jun 1909] ....Cruikshank pulled off a Ty Cobb stunt. The first man up
> in the ninth hit a short fly to right, Cruikshank rushed in in time to grab
> the ball and throw the runner out at first. The Courier, Waterloo Iowa 2/5]
>
> Lots of later (and maybe earlier) "Ty Cobb stunt" usages.
>
> Was Ty Cobb the earliest PN for such trademark stunts?
>
> Stephen
>
>
>
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