Patsy Bolivar (1879, 1882)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Thu Feb 2 05:14:26 UTC 2006

We have the digitized Boston Globe, so I did a recheck on the recent OED  
revision for "Patsy (Bolivar)."
Patsy, n.
colloq. (Orig. U.S.)
[Origin uncertain. Perh. < Patsy, pet-form of the forename  Patrick (see 
xrefword=-sy&homonym_no=2)   and cf. _PAT_ 
n.3, _PADDY_ 
place=1&xrefword=paddy&ps=n.&homonym_no=2)   n.2); perh. influenced by 
association  with Italian pazzo crazy (see _PATCH_ 
App. spread in  theatrical slang through the name of a character in a 
theatrical sketch: see  quot. 1889.]   
A person who is easily taken  advantage of, esp. by being deceived, cheated, 
or blamed for something; a dupe,  a scapegoat. Also in extended use.  
1889  H. F. REDDALL Fact, Fancy &  Fable 404 A party of minstrels in  Boston, 
about twenty years ago, had a performance... When the pedagogue asked in  a 
rage, ‘Who did that?’, the boys would answer, ‘Patsy Bolivar!’... The  
phrase..spread beyond the limits of the minstrel performance, and when a  scapegoat 
was alluded to, it was in the name of ‘Patsy Bolivar’..the one who is  always 
blamed for everything. 
Chicago  Daily Tribune (1872-1963). Chicago, Ill.: Apr 20, 1879. p. 6 (1 
page)  :
...Patsy Bolivar and Frank Carney, vagrants, $100 each;...
_Crazy  on Kissing._ 
Los Angeles Times (1881-1886). Los  Angeles, Calif.: May 23, 1885. p. 0_3 (1 
page) :
>From the San Francisco Post.
Judge Field is the "Patsy Bolivar" of the California Democracy.  "Willie 
English, who put Stuart Taylor in the Naval Office?" "Please, sir, it  was Steve 
Field; I didn't do it."
     _Sunday Morning Herald_ 
(  _Sunday,  
August 27, 1882_ 
("patsy+bolivar"+AND+date:1882-08-27)  _Olean,_ 
)   _New  York_ 
("patsy+bolivar"+AND+stateid:67+AND+range:1759-1892)   ...If  PATSY BOLIVAR, alias Frank 
Jloore is the masher of the town.  If Keefe will fight the ... 

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list