At least 18 terms for baseball "pitcher"

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Mon Aug 13 16:54:47 UTC 2001

     From my work on the 1913 baseball columns of the newspaper _San
Francisco Bulletin_ I have been struck by the considerable number of
terms for a pitcher.
I've often heard that the Eskimos have about 12 different words for
snow (maybe it's true and maybe it isn't); supposedly each term
differentiates a slightly different type of snow.

      1913 baseball lingo had at least 18 terms for pitcher, although
they all tended to be used pretty much synonymously. Here are the
examples I have thus far noticed:
  ---box artist, boxman, curvist, flinger, gunner, heaver, hillman,
hurler, hurlster/hurlester, hurlsmith, mound artist, moundsman,
pitcher, slabman, slabster, slinger, tosser (also = baseball player),

      There's probably something of relevance to general linguistics
hidden in here. How about a principle along the lines of "Variety is
the spice of life"?

---Gerald Cohen

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