[Ads-l] Skuldug (antedating to 1858)

Bonnie Taylor-Blake b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 25 14:12:34 EDT 2021

OED has for the verb "skuldug" (transitive, to extract by trickery) a 1936
usage by William Faulkner ("skuldugged") with the note "[a]pparently an
isolated use."

Not that isolated, apparently.

(And it was also used, less commonly, as an adjective and as a truncation
of "skulduggery." See far below for examples.)

-- Bonnie


We have witnessed the games of political tricksters before we came to
Kansas. We have seen men devoid of principle skulldug for office.

(From "Scullduggery," The Western Argus [Wyandotte, KS], 16 September 1858,
p. 2.)


... organization have a knowledge of and to which they so frequently
resort, and consequently can maneuver, skulldug, intrigue, wire-work,
bargain and sell as about ...

(From an extract of "Senatorial Aspirants; Gen. James Henry Lane," The
Neosho Valley Register [Burlington, KS], 20 December 1859, p. 2. The text
surrounding that excerpt is illegible.)


These men who ask for nominations, and who wire work, skulldug, lie, cheat,
and steal to secure them, are not exactly the men we would trust to do our

(From "Robert S. Stevens," The State Journal [Lawrence, KS], 31 October
1861, p. 2.)


As we entered the town groups of men could be seen in every direction
holding confidential "confabs," and the very air was pregnant with

(From "The District Convention," The Emporia [KS] News, 2 March 1861, p. 2.)


P.S. We have just been informed by a "smart feller" at our elbow, that the
"watchword" is "Skulldug." The applicant for admission will appear at the
door wrapped in two American flags.

[This is accompanied by a cartoon of an elephant bearing a standard that
reads "GO IN, SKULLDUG!"]

(From "A.M.K.B.K.G.C.G. Izard, &c.," The Emporia [KS] News, 21 September
1861, p. 1.]


George has got the Stait Record bought up on his side and he thinks he's
safe. You know it has a powerful influence, and can be used for any skuldug

(From "Letter from Topeky," a humorous letter to the editor, The Emporia
[KS] News, 15 March 1862, p. 2.)

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

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