"Crip course"?!

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 27 00:20:25 UTC 2010

I've never heard that phrase before. But, as Chomsky would say,

"Does anything follow from this? I think not."

However, it does remind me of a
now-obsolete-to-the-best-of-my-knowledge basketball term:

_crip shot_

When I was learning to play bastitbawl, ca. 1946, the phrase, "crip
shot," was in common use. Here's the earliest cite that I could by
just googling.

Lexington [KY] Herald

[Special to the Herald]
KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 9.


Combs, Milward lead Scorers; Vols Dazed By Kentucky Passing
Kentucky at Tennessee (February 9, 1928)
Jeffries took the ball and dribbled to the foul line to make a
beautiful _crip shot_. Kentucky 2, Tennessee 1.

We also used the full form, "cripple shot," but simply googling yields
only a 1959 quote from a book published in 1979:

McCallum, John Dennis. 1979. College basketball, U.S.A., since 1892.

... [S]aid [Pete] Newell in 1959, ... "We're not much concerned with
driving all the way to the basket for the lay-up or _cripple shot_."

Likewise, we used the simple "cripple." Naturally, this word occurs
primarily, WRT to basketball, in the environment of wheelchair sports,
when googled. BTW,  the number of crippled people shot and and
ofttimes killed as a consequence is surprising. Perhaps I shouldn't
have started out with "basketball shot cripple."

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
–Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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