antedating _six-feet under_

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 20 19:37:36 UTC 2013

FYI: The Unz database has extensive coverage of Collier’s magazine,
but when I searched I could not find the match that is present in
Google Books for "six feet under ground". I thought there might be a
problem with the OCR, but browsing the issues I discovered that the
database omits all issues from January 1931. In general Unz does not
always have full runs of periodicals.

On Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 12:36 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: antedating _six-feet under_
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> David Barnhart wrote:
>> In researching _six-feeted_, I came across Berrey & van den Bark (1942)
>> evidence of _six-feet under_ (meaning "dead").  A little digging found the
>> following from 1939 in a newspaper cartoon ("Inspector Wade," Chester
>> [Penn.] Times, Nov. 8, 1939, p 15):
>> "I'm puttin' you two coppers with the daisies!  Six feet under is your next
>> stop!"
> Great work, David. Here is a lead for an instance of "six feet under
> ground" used as slang in 1931. Only snippets are visible in Google
> Books, but the snippet with the expression shows part of the table of
> contents. The stories listed in the table of contents identify the
> precise issue. Hence, with high probablity the excerpt below appeared
> in the January 3, 1931 issue of Collier's magazine (requires
> verfication).
> Periodical: Collier's
> Volume: 87
> Page: 6
> Year: 1931
> (Google Books snippet view; data may be inaccurate; must be verified on paper)
> [Begin excerpt]
> He went so far that he displeased some of the older residents, and
> they sent to Sicily for old Don Pep' to put Ignazio in his place -
> which was six feet under ground - according to the old-fashioned
> rules. Damon Runyon describes the meeting . . .
> [End excerpt]
> Table of contents snippet shows "Fed-Up" by Don Marquis and "Sea
> Eagle" George Creel. The FictionMags Index identifies the issue as:
> Collier’s [v 87 # 1, January 3, 1931]
> Garson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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