Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 2 21:04:42 UTC 2014

Mr. Samuel Solomon of Forest Hills wrote to Hy Gardner's column in the
Philadelphia Inquirer (Dec. 27, 1961), p. 13 to reminisce about "the good
old days":

"When New York City policemen wore a high, round grey helmet...When streets
had lampposts lit by a man with a long stick...When we played the
frustrating game of salugi, or however you spelled it. A toughie from
another neighborhood would steal your ball, then taunt you by throwing it
to everyone but you."

(A tip o' the Saluggi hat to  !)

My grandparents used to reminisce about the same things - except for the
saluggi part, though my recollection is that my grandfather (b. 1884) was
thoroughly familiar with the concept if not the word.

The word "toughie" alone and the past tense of "spell" are almost enough to
persuade me that Sam was relating a genuine memory of the ancient world.

I believe that the virtual absence of this word in print is due to the
difficulty of spelling it convincingly.

A more chilling possibility is that in any era, the spoken vocabulary has
little to do with its printed cousin.  So give up on historical

(The Old Fulton search function turned up a circa 1905 "Anti-Salooji
League," but it was only a bad scan.)


On Fri, May 2, 2014 at 3:47 PM, David Barnhart <dbarnhart at>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       David Barnhart <dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM>
> Subject:      salugi
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> With his pugnacious, street-tough manner, Buchanan looks as if he spent his
> youth standing outside yeshivas and tormenting the Hebrew students by
> playing salugi with their yarmulkes. Lars-Erik Nelson, "Dole's Feeling A
> Pat
> On Back Republicans Fear A Loose Bucannon," Daily News [New York] (Nexis),
> Feb. 13, 1996, p 2
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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