Yanigan, Lalapaloosa (1904); TAD myth (April 1930)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Dec 3 10:30:38 UTC 2002


   I requested EAT, LIVE AND BE MERRY (1951) by Carlton Fredericks.  I made a
special trip to the Library of Congress in Washington; the NYPL record says
"missing."  I was looking for "junk food."  I waited five hours.  No book, no
returned call slip, no anything.  I was told that the book was coming from
another building, so it takes time.  Well, yeah--FIVE HOURS TO COME ACROSS
THE STREET?  Yeesh.  Every single trip this happens to the book I want
most...."Junk food" was not in his book from the 1940s.
   Merriam-Webster has 1972 for "sound bite."  I looked at OED's 1980 date.
My apologies--I take it all back.
   "Lollapalooza" is in the RHHDAS as "orig. unkn."  The first citation is
from George Ade in 1896.  The second citation (a baseball one) is from the
1898 SPORTING NEWS and "coll. B. Popik."  It's probably here somewhere
underneath my stuff from Easter Island, or is it mixed in with...



   10 April 1904, WASHINGTON POST, pg. S2:
_Baseball Term Which Applies to the Second Team in Practice._
Charles Dryden, in Philadelphia North American.
   With the opening of the annual spring training season the term "Yanigans,"
as applied to the second team in practice games, bursts into print.  The word
is used at no other time in the career of the athletes, and the fanatic, no
doubt, wonders why is a Yanigan.  He must have had an origin.
   Authorities on baseball trace the term to a native Philadelphian, no other
than the Hon. Mike Grady, a catcher and orator of renown.  Mike is said to be
the father of Yanigan, according to Connie Mack and Lave Cross.  These
historians claim the word was first applied to Philadelphia players, and
first apepared in the Philadelphia papers ten years ago.
   In 1894 the Quaker team went into camp at Hampton Roads, Va.  The immortal
Grady was a member of the party.  THe manager placed Mike in charge of the
also-rans, or second team, and the ease with which the Regulars walloped the
bitumen out of the dubs inspired Mike to produce a word that lives in the
language of the game.
   In the ancient Celtic tongue Yanigan means anything that can be easily
beaten, like carpets or a soft-boiled egg.  Being a student of the classics,
Mike was familiar with the word.  He had it stowed away in his mind, but
never found occasion to spring it until as captain of the second team his
proud spirit blazed under the sting of constant defeat.
   So it came about that one balmy afternoon in the spring of 1894, Hampton
Roads was stirred by the spectacle of Mr. Grady standing in the street in
front of the Quaker training quarters.  He was swinging his cap and howling,
"Come on, you Yanigan; come on and get it again!"
   No one present knew the meaning of the word, but it seemed to fit Grady's
mood and the case.  The scribes took it up, and from that day to this Yanigan
has emerged regularly from its hole along about groundhog time to play a
brief engagement in the public prints.  Soon after April Fool Day the word
hokes back to its hole to hibernate the better part of another year.
   Yanigan doesn't spread much ink outside of the Quaker City.  Sometimes the
St. Louis papers spring it, which fact strengthens the claim made on behalf
of Grady.  The irresponsible Mike once played in that city, and is now a
member of the Cardinal team, having been taken on as a special World's Fair
attraction to play first base and keep the conversation from lagging.
   Grady is also said to be the author of Lalapaloosa, the meaning of which
is somewhat obscure, though it sometimes butts into a tight game.  Mike would
gladly elucidate if gently approached by letter, care of the St. Louis

(I'll send one right now--ed.)



   Thomas A. Dorgan died in 1929.  I posted the Harry Stevens story in the
June 1930 RESTAURANT MAN as the earliest for the myth, but this is slightly

   19, April 1930, WASHINGTON POST, pg. 15:
_PEGLER_ (Westbrook Pegler, who was also a columnist on the NEW YORK
_When Tad Dorgan Named_
_The Hot Dog._
   The most picturesque dealings he ever had were in the old Garden at the
six-day bicycle race s long before
(Continued on Page 17, Column 5)
Tex Richard brought in the strong-arm squad to refine the show to death.  Tad
Dorgan, the cartoonist, drew a picture against the background of the old
six-day race presenting the first known public reference to the common boiled
frankfurter as the hot  dog.  Since then, under the subtle sales pressure of
old Mr. Stevens' boys, the hot dog has become the native delicatessen of the
City of New York.  He has sold enough of them to girdle the earth, and the
original of Tad's cartoon, the picture that loosed the plague of hot dog
signs upon the countryside of the Atlantic seaboard, hangs in a frame in his

(Again, DARE's Leonard Zwilling found this 1906 TAD cartoon.  Gerald Cohen
published Zwilling's TAD LEXICON about ten years ago. I found "hot dog" in a
Yale University publication of 1895--ed.)

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