"call a spade a spade" furor

Donald M. Lance LanceDM at MISSOURI.EDU
Thu Nov 15 17:07:47 UTC 2001

Mark.Mandel at LHSL.COM wrote:

> Larry sez:
> >>>>>
> As for spade-calling, my favorite on this is the folk etymologist who
> published an ad in our local advertising weekly in 1995 that read
> SR. CITIZEN KITTY needs loving home, spade, all shots, healthy.
> I've been a good kitty & promise to be a purr-fect pet.  Please
> call ____.  Love Kitty.
> I didn't call to determine if the spade kitten-emeritus in question
> was neutered, black, or both.
> <<<<<
> I like the bumper sticker
>      I <SPADE> MY DOG
> -- X (his Mark)

At the Wisconsin State Fair in 1974, local veterinarians were spaying dogs for free in a
public arena (with appropriate medical procedures, etc.).  The commentator (obviously not
a vet) said "... while they're spading him...," combining the folk phon-etymology and the
conversational-generic masculine gender for dogs (as opposed to feminine gender for cats).
The vet was a real ace, and the dog was black,.  The vet was using a scalpel and forceps
but no spade that I could see.


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