one o' cat (1903, 1906); one-eyed cat (1914)
bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Wed Dec 1 08:37:04 UTC 2004
"One old cat", an early form of baseball with only one base, also went by
the names "one o' cat" and "one-eyed cat". OED3 has a first cite of 1937
for "one-eyed cat" and nothing yet for "one o' cat".
New York Times, Sep. 6, 1903. p. 1
Funk took the rifle and sat in a hammock watching his companions
play "one o' cat."
Daily Kennebec Journal (Augusta, Maine), March 19, 1906, p. 4
He actually kicked the football around three times, delivered a
few base ball up to Frank Bowerman and Sammy Strang and wound up
his day's work with a game of one o' cat.
Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily Times, May 9, 1914, p. 1
The solemn Sabbath air was wrecked by strident cries from "de
gang," engaged in a game of one-eyed cat. Finally the good lady
of the house ventured a protest and suggestion.
"Boys," she said, "don't you know that it is Sunday and you
mustn't play ball in the front-yard? Go in the back-yard and
play, if you must."
"Hey, youse!" yelled the leader to his followers. "Come on in
the back-yard. It ain't Sunday there."
--New York Evening Post
I'd guess that 19th-century citations can be found for both of these
variants ("one old cat" has a first cite of 1856).
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