[Ads-l] mulligan (golf)--warning: speculative

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Mon Jun 7 09:23:43 EDT 2021


Among the reasons to doubt Prof. Wilton's "slam dunk" certainty:
If sports writers had Milligan in mind--for a swat that was precisely not​*-why is it, e.g. "take a mulligan" rather than "take a milligan"?
SG
________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of dave at wilton.net <dave at WILTON.NET>
Sent: Monday, June 7, 2021 9:04 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: mulligan (golf)--warning: speculative


I see it very much as a slam dunk. It's a classic case of semantic drift. If you follow the progression of citations it goes from a big swing in baseball to a big drive in golf to a second chance to make a "mulligan" (i.e., big drive) in golf to a do-over in golf.

Supporting that is the figure of the fictional "Swat Milligan/Mulligan," who is all but forgotten today, but was well known to sportswriters and their readers in the opening decades of the 20th century. So, the idea of Mulligan hitting a long ball was very present in the minds of sportswriters and their readers when writing about golf.


-----Original Message-----
From: "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Monday, June 7, 2021 8:05am
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: [ADS-L] mulligan (golf)--warning: speculative



I agree with Stephen that Peter’s website and his research are truly outstanding. But I also agree with Stephen’s implication that a connection between a big swat and a do-over is very implausible, on semantic grounds.

Fred Shapiro


From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
Sent: Monday, June 7, 2021 6:49 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: mulligan (golf)--warning: speculative

Peter's website is indeed quite impressive.
But the leap from a fictional baseball slugger to a flubbed golf swing sub rosa re-do may not be a slam dunk.

SG
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From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of dave at wilton.net <dave at WILTON.NET>
Sent: Sunday, June 6, 2021 11:24 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: mulligan (golf)--warning: speculative


Peter Reitan pretty definitively found the origin of "mulligan" a few years back. [ https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https*3A*2F*2Furldefense.com*2Fv3*2F__https*3A*2F*2Fesnpc.blogspot.com*2F2017*2F05*2Fhey-mulligan-man-second-shot-at-history.html__*3B!!OToaGQ!7cBOFxHYQp720c_jmUw3dO-x9NC5nzSXHWl-iBzzslHriok2z55N7eSptvnyAkVV*24&data=04*7C01*7Cfred.shapiro*40yale.edu*7C77e9fe7f00914085e12d08d929a1ee9a*7Cdd8cbebb21394df8b4114e3e87abeb5c*7C0*7C1*7C637586597739555308*7CUnknown*7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0*3D*7C0&sdata=7kBiy5qj*2F4*2FP7bAsbjy1CokOb8Hi3Hb*2B*2BNbFV1yh6ec*3D&reserved=0__;JSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUl!!OToaGQ!-HFSLuIk736eM5ux3ZFPTckPMTClkD41PvyD5gfIJQNCE-vDgk5kzcbDmqKxyv4V$  ]( https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https*3A*2F*2Furldefense.com*2Fv3*2F__https*3A*2F*2Fesnpc.blogspot.com*2F2017*2F05*2Fhey-mulligan-man-second-shot-at-history.html__*3B!!OToaGQ!7cBOFxHYQp720c_jmUw3dO-x9NC5nzSXHWl-iBzzslHriok2z55N7eSptvnyAkVV*24&data=04*7C01*7Cfred.shapiro*40yale.edu*7C77e9fe7f00914085e12d08d929a1ee9a*7Cdd8cbebb21394df8b4114e3e87abeb5c*7C0*7C1*7C637586597739555308*7CUnknown*7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0*3D*7C0&sdata=7kBiy5qj*2F4*2FP7bAsbjy1CokOb8Hi3Hb*2B*2BNbFV1yh6ec*3D&reserved=0__;JSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUl!!OToaGQ!-HFSLuIk736eM5ux3ZFPTckPMTClkD41PvyD5gfIJQNCE-vDgk5kzcbDmqKxyv4V$  )

All the stories about golfers giving their names to it are false. It actually arose in baseball sports writing.

My own write up, which cribs heavily from him: [ https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https*3A*2F*2Furldefense.com*2Fv3*2F__https*3A*2F*2Fwww.wordorigins.org*2Fbig-list-entries*2Fmulligan__*3B!!OToaGQ!7cBOFxHYQp720c_jmUw3dO-x9NC5nzSXHWl-iBzzslHriok2z55N7eSptuwC2uFU*24&data=04*7C01*7Cfred.shapiro*40yale.edu*7C77e9fe7f00914085e12d08d929a1ee9a*7Cdd8cbebb21394df8b4114e3e87abeb5c*7C0*7C1*7C637586597739555308*7CUnknown*7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0*3D*7C0&sdata=9f8KrhdzFFlZLZ*2BdNSD74EGHY9xeu*2BZXfIyjF1imgrs*3D&reserved=0__;JSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUl!!OToaGQ!-HFSLuIk736eM5ux3ZFPTckPMTClkD41PvyD5gfIJQNCE-vDgk5kzcbDmq6s_KpN$  ]( https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https*3A*2F*2Furldefense.com*2Fv3*2F__https*3A*2F*2Fwww.wordorigins.org*2Fbig-list-entries*2Fmulligan__*3B!!OToaGQ!7cBOFxHYQp720c_jmUw3dO-x9NC5nzSXHWl-iBzzslHriok2z55N7eSptuwC2uFU*24&data=04*7C01*7Cfred.shapiro*40yale.edu*7C77e9fe7f00914085e12d08d929a1ee9a*7Cdd8cbebb21394df8b4114e3e87abeb5c*7C0*7C1*7C637586597739555308*7CUnknown*7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0*3D*7C0&sdata=9f8KrhdzFFlZLZ*2BdNSD74EGHY9xeu*2BZXfIyjF1imgrs*3D&reserved=0__;JSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUlJSUl!!OToaGQ!-HFSLuIk736eM5ux3ZFPTckPMTClkD41PvyD5gfIJQNCE-vDgk5kzcbDmq6s_KpN$  )


-----Original Message-----
From: "Stephen Goranson" <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
Sent: Sunday, June 6, 2021 9:43am
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: [ADS-L] mulligan (golf)--warning: speculative



(warning; speculative)
Which golfer Mulligan (if any) putatively gave the name to take a mulligan, a re-do swing, is disputed.
(First, never mind the old ballad Finnegan’s Wake, published in 1864.)
An additional (post-Honeymooners) addressing the ball.
Mull it over, again…

Stephen Goranson


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