Wed Nov 29 16:03:01 UTC 2000

        A message to another list asks the following question: August
Wilson's _ The Piano Lesson _ is a play that I use in several
classes, but it contains [a line] that continue[s] to puzzle me and I
am hoping that you can help me understand them.  Boy Willie
says to Berneice, "It's got to come better than this
thirty-two-twenty."  What does "thirty-two-twenty" mean? [II:v]
(This may refer to some type of weapon, but there's no other
reference in the play to Boy Willie's carrying one.)

        I have replied, noting the lyrics to Robert Johnson's "32.20 Blues",
where it refers to a gun of some sort, but noting also that I did not
find the word in the OED, DAE, or DAmer.  Does anyone know it?  Is
there another meaning that's more appropriate?


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