"lob-lolly boy"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Feb 28 03:42:09 UTC 2010

Victor writes:

'... a food item made from corn by "American negroes".'

As a child, I recall *extremely* vaguely "lob-lolly" - or whatever
your spelling preference may be - as a word used by my late
grandmother to mean either a (dessert-ish?) foodstuff made by mixing
random things together or as a word to describe the kind of mess
caused by small children. That is, she used it in whichever meaning
was appropriate to the situation. Since then, I've come across only
"lob-lolly pine" in literature, wondering how it got that name, given
what I once knew "lob-lolly" to mean.

"Once knew": unfortunately, I now longer recall at all what
"lob-lolly" was, besides "a mess," for certain, and vaguely as a food
of some kind. Perhaps I can find a relative who remembers.


On Sat, Feb 27, 2010 at 12:29 AM, 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: "lob-lolly boy"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> There are literally hundreds of GB hits for "loblolly" between 1750
> and 1850 and there is no shortage of those that are authentic. Just
> quickly scanning through the list, there are "loblolly bay", "loblolly
> boy", "loblolly pine" and at least four different uses of "loblolly"
> by itself, including a food item made from corn by "American negroes".
> There are also entries in dictionaries, including English-Italian and
> English-French, but there is one caveat--many are spelled either as
> two words ("lob lolly") or with a
> hyphen ("lob-lolly"). Other than that, it seems to be quite ordinary.
> I can follow up with a detailed search later, but these data are just
> from the top pages of {loblolly} and {lob-lolly} (top 30 hits on each,
> with my Google settings).
> VS-)
> On Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 10:34 PM, Jesse Sheidlower <jester at panix.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 09:43:14PM -0500, George Thompson wrote:
>>> [George Nasson, "keeper of a refectory at No. 3 Scott's court, Boston," charges Henry Crump, who had been "employed at his refectory as a sort of lob-lolly boy, opening oysters, boiling chowder, frying fish, washing dishes" of stealing $260 and several watches] N-Y D Express, August 30, 1837, p. 2, col. 5
>>> OED:
>>>     2. A bumpkin, rustic, boor.  1604 BRETON Grimello's Fort. (Grosart) 9/2 This Loblollie, with slauering lips, would be making loue. 1675 COTTON Scoffer Scoft 86 He Lies gaping like a great Loblolly. 1694 MOTTEUX Rabelais IV. xxi, That jolt-headed Loblolly of a Carter. 1894 R. LEIGHTON Wreck Golden Fleece 91 Blest if you aren't worth a dozen o' these Low's~toff loplollies.
>>> Fills a 200-year gap, and a twist to the sense.
>> Actually, if you move down a bit you'll see that OED has an
>> entry for the compound _lob-lolly boy_, that includes the
>> sense 'an errand-boy, man of all work', with a quotation from
>> 1836, so it's not a real interdating, but it's a good quote.
>> Jesse Sheidlower
>> OED
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