Even Further Antedating of "Hot Dog"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue May 3 12:04:58 UTC 2011

Barry Popik passes along further NJ citations of interest. This Morris
fellow could be the key to the whole thing.

From: Barry Popik <bapopik at aol.com>
Sent: Mon, May 2, 2011 10:30 pm
Subject: Re: Even Further Antedating of "Hot Dog"

Great work! The New Jersey newspapers appear to be recent additions to
Google News Archive. "Hot dog" is there in both Paterson, Newark, and I
believe Atlantic City in the 1890s.
I don't know if "Thomas Francis Xavier Morris, the 'hot dog' man, a
German-speaking African" (see below) was first such guy.
Barry Popik
2 December 1886, Paterson (NJ) Weekly Press, pg. 3, col. 3:
As is well known he (Morris -- ed.) goes about the city supplying the
saloons with Frankfort sausage, herring and rolls.
Google News Archive
24 July 1894, Paterson (NJ) Daily Press, pg. 1, col. 5:
Paterson's Colored Society In a
Blaze of Glory.
After the dance Professor White, a colored magician, was introduced. He
ate glass and blew knots out of handkerchiefs, and then took up a
collection to buy a hot dog from Morris, the Darktown caterer, who had
come in during the performance and opened business in the northwest
corner of the hall. The Professor didn't get much more than would pay
for a dog.
Google News Archive
12 November 1897, Paterson (NJ) Daily Press, pg. 1, col. 5:
Thomas Francis Xavier Morris, the "hot dog" man, a German-speaking
African, who was tried yesterday afternoon and convicted of keeping a
disorderly house at 18 Warren's alley, had sentence suspended. Morris's
previous good character standing him in good stead.
'PEPPER SAUCE' MORRIS DEAD; Odd Negro Character Ends in a New ...
New York Times - Mar 14, 1907
-Thomas Francis Xavier Morris, a negro, one of :Paterson's oddest
characters, at the i almshouse to-day after an illness of three years

On Tue, May 3, 2011 at 7:55 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> Notable that the reporter thought the order "startling" and newsworthy; also
> that this earliest-thus-far ex. shows both current senses: the frankfurter
> on the roll and the frankfurter itself.
> On Mon, May 2, 2011 at 10:31 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>wrote:
> >
> > I believe Barry Popik, as part of his magnificent researches into the
> > history of food terms, has traced the term "hot dog" as far back as
> > September 1893.  I previously found a May 1893 citation from a New
> > Brunswick, New Jersey newspaper.  Here is an 1892 citation, also from a New
> > Jersey newspaper:
> >
> > Somehow or other a frankfurter and a roll seem to go right to the spot
> > where the void is felt the most.  The small boy has got on such familiar
> > terms with this sort of lunch that he now refers to it as "hot dog."  "Hey,
> > Mister, give me a hot dog quick," was the startling order that a
> > rosy-cheeked gamin hurled at the man as a Press reporter stood close by last
> > night.  The "hot dog" was quickly inserted in a gash in a roll, a dash of
> > mustard also splashed on to the "dog" with a piece of flat whittled stick,
> > and the order was fulfilled.
> >
> > Paterson (N.J.) Daily Press, Dec. 31, 1892, page 5, column 2 (Google News)

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

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