Cliffhanger (1936); Country Scrapple (2003) & DARE

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Nov 2 03:26:47 UTC 2003


   OED's first citation is from our AMERICAN SPEECH (1937).  I thought the LOS ANGELES TIMES might beat that.

      On the Side with E. V. Durling
              Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File).       Los Angeles, Calif.: Jun 10, 1936.                   p. A1 (1 page):
   Crane Wilbur.  Star of that grand old cliffhanger, "The Perils of Pauline."  Pearl White, the heroine of that opus, is living in Paris.

INCLUDING: Panhas, Goetta, Poor-Do, Liver Mush, New Wave Scrapple, and the Scrappledelphia Sound
by William Woys Weaver
Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books
162 pages, hardcover, $19.95

   This was just published.  I'd been waiting for my local Barnes & Noble or Borders to get it in, but then had to special order it.
   Although this is a new book, "WWW" has covered the "scrapple" subject for at least 20 years.  It's a nice addition.  Some etymologies are good; some I'll have to work on.  One citation of interest is Raven I. McDavid, "Grist for the Atlas Mill," AMERICAN SPEECH, April 1949, pages 105-114.
   WWW derives "scrapple" from "Panhaskroppel."

Pg. 30:  The preexistence of terms for scrapple in medieval Latin and Middle English invalidates its narow definition as a diminutive of _scrap_, an explanation put forth in Mitford Mathews's _Dictionary of Americanisms_ and quoted so many times that it is accepted as fact.  The explanation sounds logical, but it is not even close to the mark.  The word is derived from Crefelder dialect, and German ethnographer Paul Satori noted this in the 1920s.  The root word is _Krop_ (a slice), and especially the diminutive form _Kroppel_.  Thus, _Panhaskroppel_ means simply a slice of _Panhas_.  The _skroppel_ became _scrapple_ because it sounded like a word English speaker knew already.  In this way, _scrapple_ evolved from the name of a slice of pot pudding to the name of the naturalized dish itself.  But the use of this term in this particular way was limited to Philadelphia and its immediate environs for almost two hundred years.

   Not cited in the book is DARE, vol. P-Sk.  It has:

scrapple  n
  [Dimin. of _scrap_; cf. EDD _scrappling_ "pl. Scraps, odds and ends... The renderings of lard."]

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