Gumshoe lobbying

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon May 24 04:18:07 UTC 2010

At 5/23/2010 10:12 PM, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
>Without looking further into the contexts, I suggest that the "gumshoe"
>here probably does not mean "rubber overshoe", but rather is the
>"gumshoe" [adjective] (shown in MW3, HDAS, etc.) meaning approximately
>"stealthy"/"surreptitious", presumably based on "gumshoe" =
>"rubber-soled shoe"/"sneaker". I suppose these lobbyists are stealthy
>because they're offering illegal/unethical/shameful bribes?

As also shown in the OED -- under "gum, n.2", for "gum-shoe" there is
"(b) fig. (U.S. colloq.), used attrib. to describe something done
stealthily; hence, a detective; hence gum-shoe v. intr. (colloq.,
orig. U.S.), to move or act with stealth as if wearing
gum-shoes"  [(a) is the galoshes.]


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