gunners; monachie again; and modest American females, 1823
thompsng at ELMER4.BOBST.NYU.EDU
Mon Nov 27 17:13:57 UTC 2000
Noticed in the sports pages of the NYTimes a few days ago, but
retrieved from Proquest this morning, a word not in HDAS:
"After Desmond Howard returned a punt 50 yards in the first quarter,
Fassel yelled, "Where the hell are the gunners going?" Good
question. We know where the gunners -- the human missiles who go
directly after the return man once the ball is kicked -- were not
going, and that was toward Howard."
NY Times, November 20, 2000
HDAS has "gunner" as a basketball term, and in other contexts, but
not this football sense.
Enough of this recent stuff. My heart is in the 1820s.
Some months ago I posted from an 1823 source the word "monachie", an
apparently unrecorded term for a part of a cart. I haven't been able
to get into the LinguistList this morning, so I can't refresh my
memory as to when I posted this, or the extent of the rather
desultory discussion the posting produced. However, the citation
left unclear exactly what a "monachie" was: where on the cart, and of
what use. Another report of the same incident is more descriptive:
". . . the prisoner instantly seized the monachie of his cart (a
stick standing up in front of a cart, about 3 feet long, and used to
tie the reins to,) and threw it at . . . the deceased. . . .
Commercial Advertiser, November 14, 1823, p. 2, col. 4
This is from the New-York Evening Post of July 15, 1823, p. 2, cols.
2-3. The editor is quoting from a article published in the Glasgow
Chronicle of May 24, 1823, by one Hedderwick, on his observations
while travelling in the United States.
"So far as I am able to judge, the English language is universally
spoken in greater purity than it is in Britain. I also willingly pay
my tribute of admiration to the American females, for the exemplary
inoffensive "modest" exclamations, universally substituted for those
multiform irreverential expletives in vogue in Britain; according to
the degree of wonder, approbation or dislike meant to be expressed;
the phrases are, "Oh, my! -- Oh my, my! -- Oh my, my! well, did you
More information about the Ads-l