[Ads-l] Adage: If you are going to be a bear, be a grizzly (June 1908)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 8 17:05:53 EST 2016

Garson O'Toole wrote:
>> Order our _brokers_ to _raid_ the stock_. No half measures! If you
>> are going to be a _bear_, be a grizzly!

Wilson Gray wrote
> Given the co-occurrence of _brokers, raid the stock, bear_, could this have
> been meant as a pun,  with the last - or should that be, "the latter"? -
> used WRT "bear market," I wonder? Taking into consideration that I'm not at
> all hip to the stock market.

Intriguing connection, Wilson. OED says that "bear market" was in use
by 1903, and in the 1908 story the brokers were trying to push the
stock price down.

[Begin excerpt]
Draft additions 1993

  bear market  n. Stock Exchange a market characterized by the falling
price of stock, etc. (see sense 8); opp. to bull market n. at bull n.1

1903   H. I. Smith Financial Dict. 63   Bear market, a speculative
term which signifies a declining market; in other words, that the
tendency of prices is downward.

1926   H. J. Wolf Stud. Stock Speculation II. 25   If the above
mentioned ‘bear’ will apply his remarks to a bear market, instead of a
bull market, we are in agreement.
[End excerpt]


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

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