Brooklyn Side (1911); July Is the Cruelest Month (for "hot dog")

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Jul 25 22:40:34 UTC 2004


Just checked out your new site and it rox.  Realize that the media are not interested in FACTS about word origins; they're interested in STORIES with a beginning middle, and end.  The FACTS about Big Apple - and I tried to get as many of them into HDAS  Vol. I as I could (nod to Gerry Cohen goes here) - end  in uncertainty: "Well, which of those guys in N.O. REALLY invented it then? (Am paraphrasing, of course.)

Next time someone discovers an ex. of the insignificant collocation "big apple" ANYWHERE before 1909 expect a new wave of interest: "WOW, a NEW clue!"

Gotta go.


Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Bapopik at AOL.COM
Subject: Brooklyn Side (1911); July Is the Cruelest Month (for "hot dog")

For some reason, I'm doing a New York City web site for a city has never bee=
the least bit kind to me. Three years' work of mine is in the old ADS-L=20
archives, that is no longer available to anyone. It's my first web site, and=
working with codes that I wasn't even taught yet.
It's been up a few days and got major hits on Friday, after a Gothamist=20
mention. Despite that, it's way down on the Google charts. A Google for "Bar=
Popik" turns up about hit number 80. It's still behind su=
things as "Class Brain." The number one hit for "Barry Popik" is "The Straig=
Gerald Cohen, Language Log, and Language Hat have commented to others how=20
"disorganized" the site is, how I "hide my light under a series of bushels,"=
the latter two have told people to avoid the site entirely and go to the sho=
summary of my work on "The Straight Dope." Thanks. Why even try?
Someone wrote into Language Log with John Ciardi's old "manzana principal,=20
New Orleans jazzman, 1910" theory. I said again that there is not one piece=20=
evidence for this in some fifty million digitized pages (newspapers and=20
magazines) that we know. A 20-year-old Ciardi book should not be consulted.=20=
It's like=20
saying, screw Lighter and Green on slang, I have my H. L. Mencken, and he's=20
tops. "Manzana principal" has nothing to do with "the Big Apple" and should=20=
be mentioned anymore, but no one believes me.
Anyway, I'm adding "Brooklyn side" to the site. Lighter and DARE are silent.=
Sam Clements found a "10 Jan. 1911 _Decatur (IL) Reveiw_" article, but it=20
appears that this is actually from 13 January 1911. The 1917 Washington Post=
is also interesting for the term "Brooklyn side."
13 January 1913, Decatur (IL) Review, pg. 4, cols. 1-2:
St. Louis, Jan. 13.--Do you tenpin? Of course--you have to, to be in style,=20
for the next month. It's quite Country CLubby, you know. If you doubt, drift=
into the Middgy club's lounging place and see the Silk Stocking Seven at wor=
But supposing that you do bowl--bowl at times when it's not just the fad.=20
Suppose you're a regular. Do you know what is meant by the "Brooklyn side"?=20=
if you are so close to the inner circle of the game that you happen to have=20
heard the expression, do you know its origin?
It's a grape fruit to a grape seed you don't.
Here's the story--it's told by H. W. Harrington, now of St. Louis, formerly=20=
member of the champion Chicago team, which beat the New York cracks back in=20
the dim days before the American Bowling congress was a de facto organizatio=
That is to say, just twelve years ago.
Harrington and one of his teammates on the five that made the memorable trip=
to New York from the Windy City in 1899, W. V. THompson, will bowl an=20
exhibition match as one of the features of the national championship tournam=
ent, which=20
will open here Jan. 21. Here's Mr. Harrington's tale:
"The alleys were not alltogether at their best. THey had been bowled on a=20
good deal and there were spots where the bowler would be favored, if he coul=
only search them out. To this end Brill had been studying the boards during=20=
match. The alleys were located downtown near the river and so disposed that=20=
left-hand side of the runway was toward Brooklyn.
"Thompson walked up to shoot his first ball and Brill could see from his=20
stand that he was going after the "one-three" break. This means hitting on t=
right hand-side of the head pin. Brill had observed some ugly "splits" resul=
from this play. As Thompson was about to make his shot Brill shouted out:
"Not that way, not that way--try the 'Brooklyn side!':
Thompson halted in his delivery when Brill went over and explained.
"All the good breaks are coming on the left side of the head pin. Play for=20
the one-two, instead of the one-three break."
"Thompson did and struck the game out, winning the match by ten pins=20
"Among the bowlers the 'one-three' break, using a hook ball, is considered=20
safest to give best results, especially on new alleys. But whenever they fin=
that the alleys are not "grooved" to suit their particular style of bowling=20=
always try the 'Brooklyn side.'
"The name still clings."
9 January 1917, Mansfield (Ohio) News, pg. 12, col. 2:
Left-handed bowlers start their deliveries on the left-handed corner, but=20
shoot for the 1-2 or "Brooklyn," instead of the "New York," ar right-handers=
Only when a bowler fails to get pins on a 1-3 hit, does he cross over to the=
1-2 or "Brooklyn" side. It all depends on the alley.
22 April 1917, Washington Post, pg. S2:
Same Results Possible on "Brooklyn" as "New York" side"
A 1-3 hit in tenpins is called "the New York," while when a pin-toppler hits=
them on the other side of the 1-2 it is termed a "Brooklyn"
The terms originated many years ago in New York in a famous match, when one=20
of the men bowling found that he could get plus equally as well by hitting t=
1-2 as the 1-3.
The alleys on which the above match was rolled ran parallel with the river.=20
The 1-2 side of the pine faced toward the river or Brooklyn side, and the 1-=
inland or to New York.
3 June 1958, New York Times, pg. 40:
...I hit the Brooklyn side (between the 1 and 2 pins)... =20
This week, from your Google News.Three wrong articles.
It's been nine years since I did my work on "hot dog." My name has not made=20=
single one of these newspaper articles. This will continue my entire patheti=
Posted on Mon, Jul. 19, 2004 =20
At home or at the game, just relish the hot dog


Here's a heads-up for you, in case you had forgotten, or never known, or=20
never really cared -- Wednesday is National Hot Dog Day, so let's hoist a ja=
r of=20
mustard to all hot dogs, living and dead.

The dead ones we eat, especially at sports events, from baseball games down=20
to catching lightning bugs. The living hot dogs are the ones who orchestrate=
end zone celebrations, shake their heads after they dunk, take half the nigh=
t to=20
circle the bases after hitting a home run, yell "Go in the hole" to get on T=
-- you know the type.

It is the dead hot dogs we actually salute today, though, the ones we eat,=20
because, well, darn it, we love 'em.

It is a little known scientific fact that a person cannot attend a baseball=20
game without eating a hot dog.

There are 26 million hot dogs consumed each year in major league ballparks.=20
That is, of course, only a small percentage of dogs we consume. We eat billi=
every year. We eat 60 per person per year in the United States.

We in the newspaper profession are proud to note that one of our own, a=20
sports cartoonist working for a New York newspaper, coined the name hot dog.=
On a=20
cold day in 1901 at the Polo Grounds, the concessionaire was doing little=20
business with his ice cream and cold sodas. He sent his salesmen out to buy=20=
up all=20
the dachshund sausages (that's what they were called at the time, for obviou=
reasons) and rolls they could find.

In less than an hour, vendors were hawking dachshund sausages in the stands,=
probably yelling, "Red hot! Get yer red hot dachshund sausages right heah!"

The cartoonist, Tad Dorgan, felt his deadline approaching fast. He needed an=
idea. When he heard the vendors, he drew a cartoon of barking dachshund=20
sausages nestled in the rolls. He didn't know how to spell dachshund so he c=
them hot dogs.

Thanks to Tad Dorgan, it cannot be said that the guys in the press box have=20
never contributed anything better to society than the rumpled look, a few=20
clich=C3=A9s and a sizeable thirst.

(FORWARD, July 23, 2004) (formerly, JEWISH DAILY FORWARD--ed.)
A Summer Taste Test
By Matthew Goodman
July 23, 2004
There's no way to know this for sure, but I would suggest that kosher=20
frankfurters first entered the wider American consciousness in the 1970s, th=
anks to,=20
of all things, a TV commercial. In this commercial =E2=80=94 for those of yo=
u who=20
threw out your televisions in the 1960s =E2=80=94 a man dressed as Uncle Sam=
holding a hot dog in front of him, while a stentorian-voiced narrator recite=
s some=20
of the additives (nonmeat fillers, etc.) that the American government allows=
be put in frankfurters.
"We don't," intones the narrator after each item, as Uncle Sam's smile grows=
increasingly forced. Cue the heavenly choir; Uncle Sam gazes upward, to wher=
the sun is breaking through the clouds. Proclaims the narrator (the term=20
Omniscient Narrator would not be inappropriate here): 'We can't. We're Hebre=
National, and we answer to a Higher Authority."
This prodigious bit of marketing jiujitsu took the kosher laws, which never=20
had mattered to more than a very small segment of the population, and made t=
a selling point for the population at large. We even might look to this as=20
the moment when many Americans first began to view kosher food =E2=80=94 not=
correctly =E2=80=94 as healthy food, such that today the majority of kosher=20=
buyers are not=20
even Jewish.=20
Of course, kosher frankfurters had been around for a long time before Uncle=20
Sam ever held up one to the camera. The first recorded appearance of a=20
frankfurter of any kind on American shores was in 1867, in the Brooklyn, N.Y=
., seaside=20
community of Coney Island. A German immigrant named Charles Feltman, who=20
earned his trade selling pies from a wagon that he pushed along the beach, f=
that many of his customers were asking for hot sandwiches, as had begun to b=
sold in the restaurants along the boardwalk. Fearing a drop-off in business,=
Feltman hired a mechanic (the annals of food history know him only as Donova=
to construct a charcoal stove on the back of his wagon. Thus equipped, Feltm=
began plying hot sausages to the local beachgoers; he wrapped the sausages i=
a bun, in the German fashion, and called his creation, "Frankfurter=20
sandwiches," after his hometown. Feltman's gambit proved so successful that=20=
within the=20
decade he had opened his own restaurant on the boardwalk, the eponymous=20
Feltman's, which by the turn of the century had grown into a vast food compl=
turning out frankfurters from seven grills, delivered to patrons by as many=20=
1,200 waiters.=20
However, eventually Feltman's ingenuity would spawn the seeds of his own=20
undoing. In 1915, a former employee of Feltman's, Nathan Handwerker, set up=20=
stand across the street from the restaurant and began selling competing hot=20=
(The term "hot dog" had been coined nine years earlier, after the Chicago=20
cartoonist T.A. "Tad" Dorgan drew a cartoon showing a dachshund inside a=20
frankfurter bun.) Like Feltman before him, Handwerker named his hot-dog stan=
d after=20
himself, calling it =E2=80=94 need I even say this? =E2=80=94 Nathan's Famou=
s. At Nathan's hot=20
dogs cost only a nickel, half of the price that was being charged across the=
street. But they differed from those of Feltman's in at least one more=20
significant respect: Nathan's frankfurters, like all Jewish sausages before=20=
them, were=20
made from beef rather than pork.=20

(ANN ARBOR NEWS, July 23, 2004)
Hot dog vendors on a roll=20

Carts let people know when summertime is really here=20

Friday, 23, 2004BY STEPHENIE KOEHN=20

News Staff Reporter =20
Hot dogs, originally known as "hot dachshund sausages," reportedly got their=
name in 1901 from sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan, who heard vendors at the Pol=
Grounds in New York yelling, "Get your dachshund sausages while they're red=20
hot!" He sketched a cartoon depicting the scene, but wasn't sure how to spel=
"dachshund," so he called them, "hot dogs." At least that's one version of t=
story. =20

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