[Ads-l] a cute expression that, unfortunately, died quickly

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jan 18 19:50:28 EST 2021


> On Jan 18, 2021, at 7:35 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> Fun topic, George. I broadened the search to include "lawn billiards"
> which led me to a Wikipedia article about "Ground billiards" which
> employed mallets, wooden balls, and hoops. Apparently, croquet is a
> descendant.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_billiards
> 
> The OED has "lawn billiards" with an initial citation in 1873.
> 
> [Begin excerpt]
> lawn billiards n. = troco n.
> 
> 1873   Young Englishwoman Nov. 572/2   Jean would feel obliged if the
> Editor would tell her..if lawn billiards can be played on a croquet
> lawn?.. Is there a book of rules on lawn billiards?
> [End excerpt]
> 
> Here is a citation for "lawn billiards" in a London newspaper in 1834,
> but this type of "lawn billiards" may differ from the version in the
> 1873 citation.
> 
> Date: May 12, 1834
> Newspaper: The Observer
> Newspaper Location: London, Greater London, England
> Article: The Stadium, Or School Of Sports, At Chelsea
> Quote Page 3, Column 4
> Database: Newspapers.com
> 
> [Begin excerpt]
> That the next general Meeting of the Committee take place at the
> Stadium, Chelsea, on Tuesday next, at three o'clock precisely, when
> the different postures of archery, lawn billiards, carousel, and other
> equestrian practice, gymnastics, fencing, &c. ...
> [End excerpt]
> 
> In 1857 "The Morning Post" printed an advertisement indicating that
> croquet and lawn billiards were distinct games:
> 
> Date: April 27, 1857
> Newspaper: The Morning Post
> Newspaper Location: London, Greater London, England
> Article: Croquet.—Spratts New Game
> Quote Page 1, Column 3
> Database: Newspapers.com
> 
> [Begin excerpt]
> CROQUET.—SPRATTS NEW GAME of CROQUET, also Lawn Billiards, Archery,
> and all the new outdoor Games. Superior Cricket Bats.—1, Brook-street,
> Hanover-square, W.
> [End excerpt]
> 
> References to "lawn billiards" have continued to the present day. Here
> is a 2006 article with the creative phrase "Vampire Lawn Billiards".
> 
> Date: June 25, 2006
> Newspaper: The Palm Beach Post
> Newspaper Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
> Article: A ruthless, cunning game of croquet
> Author: Ron Wiggins
> Quote Page 4D, Column 3
> Database: Newspapers.com
> 
> [Begin excerpt]
> Croquet is a bad name. A better name would be Vampire Lawn Billiards.
> I say vampire because to stay alive in the game, the ball that is
> struck must be made to hit another ball so that it sucks two more
> life-sustaining shots and sets the player up to go through a wicket,
> earning yet another bonus shot.
> [End excerpt]
> 
> Garson
> 

Creative maybe, but I’d have upvoted “Vampire Lawn Billiards” (for ‘croquet’) Most Unlikely to Succeed during the 2006 WOTYs if I’d only known.

LH

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