"Gang-bang": It's alive!

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 31 11:47:10 UTC 2014

Once again Wilson beats out HDAS with his 1956 example.

"Pull a train" began showing up in print (as one might expect) in the late
'60s, but only as far as I know.


On Sat, Aug 30, 2014 at 11:29 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      "Gang-bang": It's alive!
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Back in The Lou, ca. 1950, I learned "(to) gang-bang" as "(to participate
> in a) fight between two gangs." That BE meaning has long since been
> superseded by the WE meaning, "(to participate in a)
> gang-rape/cluster-fuck," though the original meaning of "gang-banger"
> kinda-maybe-perhaps lives on in hip-hop and cop-operas.
> In the course of the reality-TV show, "Vegas ER," a black youth is
> explaining to an ER doctor  how he happened to get shot:
> "A dude walked up to me with a pistol in his hand. And he aksed me, 'Where
> you from, man?' I raised my hands and I said, 'I don't _gang-bang_, man.'
> And he shot me, anyway."
> Needless to say, sadly, the practice of the gang-rape is also well-known in
> the 'hood. The act is "(pull) the train" in StL and elsewhere, "(pull) a
> train" elsewhere, especially in hip-hop.
> _pull "the train"_ "commit serial rape"
> Reports of cases and matters determined by the Supreme Court and ...
> books.google.com
> South Carolina. Supreme Court, South Carolina. Court of Appeals -
> =E2=80=8E=
> 1997,
> P.191 and P.192
> aiding or abetting his friends in "running the train" or successively
> sexually assaulting Victim; defendant informed witnesses about "running the
> train" on Victim before, during, and after incident, and defendant engaged
> in consensual kissing with Victim, but then stood in room and watched while
> two of his friends successively sexually assaulted and beat Victim. ...
> Kilgore communicated this plan before, during, and after the rape of Victim
> and participated in its execution. Reynolds testified that, at the party,
> Kilgore told him that they "were going to
> _pull the train_"
> on Victim. Kilgore and his friends took Victim to Marseglia's apartment. He
> invited her into the bedroom for the ostensible purpose of showing her the
> room he used to occupy. Although the kissing between Kilgore and Victim was
> consensual, this initiated the series of acts that would lead to Victim's
> rape first by Marseglia and then by King. While these events were
> transpiring, Kilgore was standing in the room.
> http://goo.gl/LMaisK
> "Run the train" is new to me.
> "Pull *a* train" is decades older than hip-hop. In 1956, Jimmy Reed, a
> native of Mississippi, released a side that contained the phrase,
> "I'd rather see you pull _a_ train"
> This phraseology caused mild consternation among St. Louisans because, in
> context, there seemed to be an element of *non*-rape implied: "*see* you"
> and not "*make* you," not to mention "_a_ train" and not "_the_ train." The
> same - possible willingness on the part of the female participant WRT
> "pulling *a* train" - seems to true of the current hip-hop use, too, in the
> sense that it's many women and one lucky man and not one unlucky woman and
> many men.
> Since "pull a/the train" and "run the train" are prosaic, everyday strings
> that date back to the 19th C., I consider myself fortunate to have found
> even this one relevant cite.
> And yes, I am prepared to deal with being told that this and much, much
> more are to be found in V.III of HDAS. :-(
> Sigh!
> - 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
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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