Simoleon (1883)

Jonathon Green slang at ABECEDARY.NET
Wed Nov 23 17:38:03 UTC 2005

Jonathan Lighter wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Simoleon (1883)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> John, thank you for reminding me of that cite, which remains unique. I have no further evidence of the existence of "Simon" as a U.S. term; conceivably it was simply an adaptation of the British term for a sixpence. There seems to be little enough reason to connect it with "simoleon."
>    However, there's a further item of onomastic interest in the same 1859 anecdote :
>   "The aforesaid battery had been consummated at a _doggery_ at Niggerville, now called Washington [in the State of Louisiana] near the town of Opelousas."
>   JL
Good stuff. Even if between 'simon's' plodding pun on 'tanner' and the
blithe racism of 'Niggerville', one might feel that our favoured
linguistic subset lacks, shall we say, the subtler touch.


PS. Am I to assume that 'the same 1859 anecdote' betokens an identical
citation in Harper's? I have another 'niggerville' from Mathews but it
is dated 1860 and not actually listed under that headword.

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