push comes to shove (1924)

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 26 22:00:28 UTC 2010

The following cite is later than Victor's great 1873 cite for the
essay about Push and Pull by of Rev T De Witt Talmadge, but I think it
is still useful because it presents evidence for the wider
dissemination of the essay in a time frame closer to the wonderful
1897-1898 cites of Bill Mullins.

Citation: January 1889, Frank Leslie's Sunday magazine, The Firm of
Push & Pull by Rev T De Witt Talmadge, Page 14, Frank Leslie.

The proposed improvement is about to fail, when Push comes up behind
it and gives it a shove, and Pull goes in front and lays into the
traces; and, lo! the enterprise advances, the goal is reached!



On Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 4:27 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: push comes to shove (1924)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> [Garson beat me to the punch on Talmage (the same NYPL copy) and Bill
> Mullin got even better dates, but I still wanted to send in my full
> notes. However, I am prepared to push the Talmage date to 1873.]
> There is an *amazing* number of false hits (with pre-1924 alleged dates)
> on GB. But there may be a couple others pre-1940.
> This one seems accurate:
> http://bit.ly/9LfMnq
> Central Valley project of California: Hearings (US Congress, Committee
> on Flood Control), February 7-9, 1935
>> ... that still, when push comes to shove, there is not just a world
>> order that we are talking about but an American order that we all have
>> to be cognizant about.
> But I did get an intriguing one in 1913/4.
> http://bit.ly/94R37T
> The Autobiography of a Happy Woman
> p. xi of the Foreword
>> What part is woman going to play in this new world? Is it to prepare
>> her for this part that the impetus has come, forcing her into new
>> arenas, of which even our mothers did not dream? I don't know. I only
>> know that *push has come, shoving us out*. Where are we going I don't
>> know.
> The Publisher's Note starts, "The publishers are pledged not to reveal
> the identity of the author of this remarkable book. For reasons which
> will be obvious to any reader of the book, the author has made this a
> condition of its publication."
> I initially ignored another hit, but changed my mind.
> http://bit.ly/bNrfq6
> Around the Tea-Table; by T. de Witt Talmage. Complete Edition. London:
> James Blackwood &Co.
> Chapter XXVI
> Push and Pull
>> The proposed improvement is about to fail when Push comes up behind it
>> and gives it a shove, and Pull goes in front and lays into the traces
>> ; and, lo ! the enterprise advances, the goal is reached !
> There is no copyright date or printed date on the title page. The NYPL
> stamped the book in 1923 and the cataloguing mark on the title page says
> "[1875?]". Their actual catalog record says "18-?" GB thinks it's 1900.
> Wheaton College and Trinity College libraries list the Philadelphia
> edition as 1874. Gardner A. Sage library of New Brunswick Theological
> Seminary has 1875. Princeton also claims 1875, but for a Philadelphia
> edition. Adelphi, Elmira and Rutgers have the "Funk & Wagnalls" edition
> that it claims seems to be 1885. Harvard, Columbia, Penn State and URI
> think it's 1895. Talmage died in 1902.
> It is clear that something happened between 1874 and 1902 and that the
> work might have been quite popular. But it did not first appear as a
> book! As was popular at the time, the piece "Push and Pull" first
> appeared in a periodical.
> http://bit.ly/aai68F
> United Methodist Free Churches' Magazine, August, 1873
> Push and Pull; T. de Witt Talmage, D. D.
> p.473
> By the way, note, per previous discussion of "ffoliot" that the capital
> F in Free does have a clear appearance of double-f. (p. 439 and title page).
>     VS-)
> On 2/26/2010 11:14 AM, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>> The latest OED draft entry for "push" has "if/when push comes to
>> shove" from 1940. Some earlier cites (the first three are from "The
>> Week," by Defender columnist Roscoe Simmons):
>> ---
>> 1924 _Chicago Defender_ 9 Aug. II1/2 "Defense day," backed by
>> President Coolidge, will be used to show you what you could do in a
>> pinch and, also, to show Europe what Uncle Sam can do if push comes to
>> shove.
>> ---
>> 1924 _Chicago Defender_ 4 Oct. II1/2 Hope that this matter will blow
>> over, but if push comes to shove and you are called, don't make a
>> mistake.
>> ---
>> 1926 _Chicago Defender_ 20 Feb. II1/2 He may even give the register of
>> the treasury to some dark American if push comes to shove.
>> ---
>> 1932 _Chicago Defender_ 23 Jan. 14/2 Indeed, American sailors, like
>> all Americans, are tough on ladies, all outside of their "race" first,
>> and then their own if push comes to shove, at sea, on land, home or
>> abroad.
>> ---
>> 1935 Arna Bontemps _Black Thunder_ 53 And, let push come to shove, He
>> going to fight them down like a flock of pant'ers, He is.
>> http://books.google.com/books?id=z3wGAQAAIAAJ
>> ---
>> 1937 _Atlanta Daily World_ 9 Mar. 2/6 It would be better, when push
>> comes to shove, for you to put all of them out and after they are out
>> a little while and realize what it is all about, they will be glad to
>> come back and be good.
>> ---
>> And M.J. Devaney sends this one along:
>> ---
>> 1931 _Baltimore Sun_ 5 Dec. 36 "It's got to be one or two [whites],
>> but if push come to shove, they're not going to do no better'n keep
>> quiet." (in: "Mob Took Negro from Her Custody," quoting Snow Holden
>> from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, regarding the inability of blacks
>> to trust whites in the wake of the Matthew Williams lynching in 1931)
>> ---
>> --Ben Zimmer
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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