[Ads-l] Antedating of "Tetherball"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 22 22:31:22 EST 2022


Excellent wok, Peter. I missed your top-notch article.
Garson

On Sat, Jan 22, 2022 at 10:29 PM ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> The OED definition for tether-ball says:
>
> [Begin excerpt from OED]
> tether-ball n. a ball fastened to or suspended from a pole by a
> string; the game played with this (Webster Suppl. 1902).
> [End excerpt from OED]
>
> The OED gives a 1900 citation and Fred gives an excellent 1892
> citation. The term "tether-ball" seems to refer to a family of games
> with varying rules. The core element of each game is a ball fastened
> to a pole as indicated in the OED definition. Here is an 1875
> citation.
>
> Date: October 16, 1875
> Periodical: The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News
> Article: Tether-Ball. A New Game.
> Quote Page 57, Column 2 and 3
>
> https://books.google.com/books?id=4zwOHUzX8E4C&q=tether-ball#v=snippet&
>
> [Begin excerpt – double check for errors]
> TETHER-BALL. A NEW GAME.
> A new game is introduced to our notice by "Tether-Ball" :— "I think
> many of our readers will be glad to know of a capital new game, which
> can be set up at a trilling outlay on a lawn of any size. All that is
> wanted is a threepenny indiarubber ball, made fast to the end of
> threepennyworth of elastic cord, the other end of which is tied to the
> top of a pole some 110 ft high, firmly fixed in the middle of the
> lawn. The cord should be of such length as to allow the ball just to
> swing clear of the grass at the foot of the pole. In its simplest form
> the game is for two players, who stand on opposite sides of a crease
> drawn from the foot of the pole to right and left, and are armed with
> battledores or racket-bats. One of the players starts the ball,
> drawing it away from the pole and striking it a smart blow in any
> direction he pleases; he will soon learn how best to baffle the enemy.
> . . .
>
> I can promise great entertainment to anyone with a taste for a game
> who will make trial of this easy and elastic game of tether-ball."
> [End excerpt]
>
> Garson
>
>
> On Sat, Jan 22, 2022 at 9:45 PM Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> >
> > tetherball (OED 1900)
> >
> > 1892 Nottinghamshire Guardian 24 Sept. 4/5 (Newspapers.com)
> >
> > Fred Shapiro
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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