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

dave@wilton.net dave at WILTON.NET
Tue Jun 8 16:21:30 EDT 2021

The Big Spring (not "Springs" as the OED has it) Daily Herald is on Newspaperarchive.com—as has been pointed out before when searching for other terms, the package sold to universities evidently does not contain all the newspapers. This one doesn't show up when I search through the university site, but it does through my personal account.
The McIntyre in question is Marvin McIntyre, an aide to FDR, not the newspaper columnist. 
A slightly longer excerpt: 
“Golfers Try to Lower Marks.” Big Spring Daily Herald (Texas), 5 May 1936, 4. Newspaperarchive.com.
"Following McIntyre around a few holes of golf frequently rewards the gallery with such irate remarks as 'Nuts, I’ve had 10 strokes on this hole already; I’ll pick up.' He seems to find new hop on the next tee—that is, until his tee shot.
"Another McIntyre-ism is the use of the “mulligan”—links-ology for a second shot employed after a previously dubbed shot. Most McIntyre 'mulligans' are worse dubbed that the initial shot, however—which seems to serve as a psychological encouragement to the presidential attache.
That's all the article has on "mulligan," but the wording implies that the term is already current among golfers and is not a coinage of Marvin McIntyre. And it's use in the 1930s to specifically mean a second chance to hit a successful shot off the tee, as opposed to anywhere on the course, corresponds with an origin in long-ball-hitting baseball.
-----Original Message-----
From: "Stephen Goranson" <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, June 8, 2021 9:14am
Subject: Re: [ADS-L] mulligan (golf)--warning: speculative

Thanks, Garson; that might lead somewhere.
Both of the quotations from Dave Wilton yesterday (June 7) are repeats from his blog and before that Peter's blog. Been there; read that.
These are not, imo, slam dunk connections to a golf mulligan. And the Swat Milligan name spelling did persist as well; one might reasonably expect at least some appearances of that spelling in the proposal. Anyone? I've been mistaken before, but I call special pleading.

Not to leave on that--and maybe we agree that a specific golfer named Mulligan is not proven as the source--here's what may be a very small lead. O. O. McIntyre (1884-1938) was a long-time newspaper columnist, including the long-running "New York Day by Day.". OED's first quotation is:
"1936 Big Springs (Texas) Daily Herald 5 May 4/5 Another McIntyre-ism is the use of the ‘mulligan’—links-ology for a second shot employed after a previously dubbed shot."
Given excellent researchers here (I've failed on this so far): which McIntyre column (if column it was) and what date? Please?

Stephen Goranson

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list