Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri May 2 19:06:30 UTC 2014

On May 2, 2014, at 2:32 PM, David Barnhart wrote:

> _saluggi_ has an entry in DARE.  Earliest quote 1975.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

Ah, right.  I forgot it was online and could be checked (we have the first few volumes here, but not up to Sa).  I like this entry, although the restriction to headgear is too narrow:

1987 Bronx NYC (as of 1955), Salugi [ˌsəˈluǰi]—an unorganized torment “played” by boys, which involved snatching the cap or hat off one boy’s head and tossing it back and forth between confederates until the victim either retrieved his cap or was reduced to tears or the use of his fists. Although the cap was the article most frequently snatched, any small article would do. The victim received no warning—all of a sudden he would hear the cry “Salugi!” and his cap would be gone.

The classification as "torment" rather than "game" is a nice distinction, and the reduction to tears is mentioned.  As some of the entries noted, "Saluggi on Peter's cap/baseball glove" was the standard opener.  But I reject the identification in another entry with "Monkey in the Middle", which--like "Keepaway" and unlike "Saluggi"--*is* a game rather than a torment.


The American Dialect Society -

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