[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 17:40:31 EST 2016


On Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 5:05 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.

I have now updated the QI entry and supplemented the acknowledgement.

[Begin excerpt]
This figurative language was particularly apt in the stock scenario
because the phrase “bear market” referring to a down market was
already in use by 1903 according to the Oxford English Dictionary.
[End excerpt]

[Begin excerpt]
Also, thanks to Wilson Gray who suggested the relevance of the term
"bear market" to the interpretation of the 1908 citation.
[End excerpt]

Garson

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


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