sassinger (was: Bon appetit! (was Laws and Sausage))

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 14 02:42:45 UTC 2008

On Jan 13, 2008 7:27 PM, George Thompson <george.thompson at> wrote:

>        SASSINGERS.  ***  Seriously, people should be very cautious how
> they deal in sausages these days.  A deal of dog's hair has been observed
> sticking to the door-sill of an eating house down town. . . .  ***

This word "sassinger" caught my interest. I expected it to mean
"sausage-maker" or "-seller", but no. It isn't in OED, but DARE (cites from
1844 to 1941) makes it "sausage". There are "about 563" googits for it; I've
listed a few interesting ones below, where it's not a surname.

This looks like one of a small set of English words derived from words
ending in /@dZ/ by appending /@r/ and inserting /n/ before the affricate

   - passage > passenger
   - message > messenger
   - porridge > porringer (OED: A small bowl or basin, typically with a
   handle, used for soup, stews, or similar dishes. Also occas.: the quantity
   of liquid, etc., that fills or would fill such a vessel.)
   - wharfage (storage at a wharf) > wharfinger

Mark Mandel

Charcoal Sketches, Or, Scenes in a Metropolis
 By Joseph Clay Neal
Published 1844
Carey & Hart
222 pages
Original from Harvard University
Digitized Sep 23, 2005
[line breaks as in original]

p. 218

    That was worse than the kick
a feller gave me in market, because 'cording to first princi-
ples I put a bullowney sassinger into my pocket, and
didn't pay for it.
[Used again a little down the page]

+ several other hits of reprints of the same story

 "modern translation: sassinger" for two Ukrainian words (which I have
transliterated in hopes that this post won't get creamed, MIMEd, or
otherwise put through the grinder):
    sosiska (beagle, sausage), kolbasa (sassage, sausage).
(That "beagle" worries me! Or are we back to "hot dog"?)
Citation is just unspecified "various references"; the link just goes to an
Amazon page for Ukrainian dictionaries.


A Book of Scattered Leaves: Poetry of Poverty in Broadside Ballads of
Nineteenth-Century England
By James G. Hepburn
Published 2000
Bucknell University
Poverty in literature
288 pages
ISBN 0838753973

In the poem "Oh, Ain't I Nuts on Sarah", glossed on p. 449 .

Cassell's Dictionary of Slang
By Jonathon Green
Published 2006
Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
ISBN 0304366366

sassiger n. (also sassenger, sassinger, saussinger, sossinger) [19C] a
sausage. [mispron.]

The American Dialect Society -

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