[Ads-l] plug ugly

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sun Jun 6 10:08:07 EDT 2021

As noted before, this is the name of a gang in Baltimore, sometimes reportedly involved in fights with other firemen groups, especially if more recent immigrant Democrats, the Uglies being nativist know-nothings.
There are 1853 and 1854 mentions of a racehorse by that name.
And 1854 of a fire-plug hat, a hardhat (helmet) bowler shape.. I assume looking like the top of a hydrant. OED has a top hat by that name, later.
I write. mainly, to note that--whoever originated the name--it was accepted as a self-definition. Like the early hoodlums in California.

Stephen Goranson

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

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