[Ads-l] human wrecking ball

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 29 19:16:13 EDT 2021


OED has "wrecking ball" from 1952.

1924 Milwaukee Journal (Sept. 23) 30: Sydlowski...apparently controls a
wrecking ball.

(Used fig. for a wicked bowling ball.)

JL

On Mon, Jul 26, 2021 at 5:43 AM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> > There's a 1971 ex. in the Philadelphia News (July 16), p. 40, but I don't
> > feel like paying Newspapers.com extra to see the whole sentence.
>
> In 1931 a football player was called a "human wrecking machine".
>
> [ref] 1931 November 11, Los Angeles Evening Express, The Inside Track
> with Sid Ziff: Pinckert is Marked Man, Quote Page 22, Column 1, Los
> Angeles, California. (Newspapers_com) [/ref]
> https://www.newspapers.com/image/608476975/
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> THE OBJECT OF ALL TEAMS that face Southern California is to slow up
> Ernie Pinckert the demon halfback. When Pinckert is at top form he is
> a human wrecking machine for other players. After he has hit an
> opponent three or four times said victim has little desire to continue
> the argument.
> [End excerpt]
>
> In 1933 a boxer was called a "human wrecking car".
>
> [ref] 1933 September 8, The Boston Globe, Primo Camera in Role of
> "Human Wrecking Car at Automobile Crash" by Associated Press, Quote
> Page 19, Column 7, Boston, Massachusetts. (Newspapers_com) [/ref]
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> In the role of a "human wrecking car" Primo Camera, giant worlds
> heavyweight boxing champion, came upon the scene of a motor car
> collision last night and without a grunt heaved an overturned sedan
> back onto its four wheels.
> [End excerpt]
>
> The 1971 article mentioned by JL applied the phrase "human wrecking
> ball" to heavyweight champion Joe Frazier who defeated Muhammad Ali in
> March 1971.
>
> [ref] 1971 July 16, Philadelphia Daily News, Ali's Sportcoat not
> Fireproof Anymore by Bill Conlin, Quote Page 40, Column 1,
> Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Newspapers_com) [/ref]
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> Muhammad Ali has already lost one race to the small voice in the back
> of a tired man's head that whispers, "That's enough runnin', that's
> enough pain for one day."
> And when he lost the race a fighter must win every day in the gym he
> also lost the tactical edge of swiftness he needed to elude the human
> wrecking ball that stripped away his title last March.
> [End excerpt]
>
> Garson
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>


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