Misfit; "Chawing his ear"

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Fri Jun 16 23:17:05 UTC 2000


   I just received an e-mail that the online OED has corrected about a
thousand "M" entries.
   From the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9 September 1885, pg. 4, col. 5:

   In Newport (R.I.--ed.) slang a misfit wife is one who has found herself so
mismated that she has had to part from her husband.  Newporters no longer
speak of grass widows or divorced persons, but always of misfits.


   "CHAWING HIS EAR" is the caption beneath the illustration in the CHICAGO
TRIBUNE, 6 September 1885, pg. 8, col. 1.  I didn't find the expression in
the online OED.
   The article states:

   ...and in the vernacular of the trade proceeds to "chaw the ear" of his
seat mate.  This "chawing the ear" is not, as one would suppose, an act of
mayhem, though oftentimes it would be better for the victim if it were, but
merely consists in a zealous attempt to make a sale.

   Time for a Chicago pizza.

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