Is this correct for anyone?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 22 23:40:48 UTC 2010

If any white people or plaid people say "town gas," they've never told me
about it.

I also know "gashouse" almost solely from the "Gashouse Gang."  I've
encountered it in the literal "gas works" sense, but it's not a topic I've
had much need to think about. Offhand I don't know what the customary NYC
term might have been.


On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 5:48 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Is this correct for anyone?
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> From the Wikipedia article on "_Gas works_ referred from _gashouse_":
> "_Coal gas (known in the USA as Town gas) ..._"
> Say what? I've always known coal gas only as "coal gas" since I took a
> class known as "georgaphy" [,dZi 'arg at fI] in the 4th grade, 1946-47.
> Until I read W-pedia's article, I'd never before come across the
> phrase, "town gas," ever, in any context. But, keeping in mind that
> white people, growing up in a different environment, know stuff that
> even supposedly-educated black people have no concept of, I've decided
> to ask. Is it just me? *Is* coal gas normally referred to as "town
> gas" in The World?
> And BTW, WTF *is* a "gashouse," anyway? Needless to say, having grown
> up in Saint Louis, I'm familiar with the phrase, Gashouse Gang. But no
> one ever pointed anything out to me and said, "That's a / the
> gashouse" or "That's where the famous gashouse used to be." Given the
> presence of capitalization, I assume that Gashouse is or was the name
> of a 'hood in The City wherein stands or once stood a gashouse.
> W-pedia says _gas house_[sic] is another way of saying "gas works."
> -Wilson
> –––
> 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
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