On the Lam, #2 (trying again without diacriticals)
DanCas1 at AOL.COM
Mon Dec 13 04:48:16 UTC 2004
On the lam.
Leim, also spelled Leum,
To jump. To fly out. To leap.
Lam: To flee; to jump bail or parole.
(Goldin & O’Leary, Dictionary of American Underworld Lingo, NY, 1950, p.
ERIE: “...these guys I put the bite on is dead wrong G’s, and they expect
to be paid back Tuesday, or else I’m outa luck, and have to take it on the
lam, or I’ll get beat up and maybe sent to the hospital.” (Hughie, p. 289)
Lam: n. Slang. On the run, hurried escape, as in take it on the lam or on
the lam. 1897, from the verb meaning of run away. Origin unknown. (The Barnhart
Dictionary of Etymology, pp. 573-574).
It is ironic that these so-called underworld “slang" terms were the literate
Irish words of 6th and 7th century manuscripts seven hundred years before
Geoffrey Chaucer had his first spelling lesson.
Irish is the first literate vernacular tongue in Europe.
The Irish Studies Program
New College of California
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