Sam Clements SClements at NEO.RR.COM
Mon Sep 3 02:13:59 UTC 2007

I'm working on "huck-n-buck," over at the Straight Dope.

The "Huck-n-Buck" seems to be attributed to a photograher of football players, James(Jim) Laugher.

Remember those "posed" football cards from the 1950's?

But "huck-a-buck" can be found, doing a Google book search, as early as 1844.  I haven't searched exhaustively.  I'm too exhausted to try.  The 1844 cite describes the coarse cloth.   Not what we want, I assume.  [At first, only a coarse kind of goods called huck-a-buck, and vulgarly hag-a-bag, was made.]  And this meaning goes back before that date.

But, an 1892 cite is for a kid's game......[
In AR, v. 59, the rhyme is given- 
Buck shee, buck shee buck, 
How many fingers do I hold up ? 
In Warwickshire they simply say "Buck, Buck," etc. 
In Suffolk " Huck-a-buck, huck-a-buck," etc. ]


So, where does Mr. Laugher come up with "huck-n-buck?"  There is a suggestion that he told the players to act as if they were getting "bucked" off a horse.  I forget where I read that.  

The OED and HDAS appear to be silent on this.

Sam Clements

The American Dialect Society -

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