[Ads-l] Dialect clash: _shlong_

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Dec 21 11:21:32 EST 2016


And as the OED notes (and I’m sure HDAS would have), the ‘membrum virile’ sense of “s(c)hlong” is itself a metaphorical extension (well, I’m folding that part in) of the German cognate of the Dutch word referenced in the Altoona piece:

< Yiddish shlang, < Middle High German slange (German Schlange) serpent 

LH

> On Dec 21, 2016, at 10:39 AM, Baker, John <JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM> wrote:
> 
> The messy stunt meaning of "schlong" can be antedated to 1951 by a UP article, which was in the Baytown (Tex.) Sun (Oct. 4, 1951), and also other newspapers.  The article discusses the language of television and also has some other antedatings, which I will write about in a separate post.
> 
> "Schlong - An expression originated by quiz show Producers Bill Todman and Mark Goodson to describe acts involving pie throwing, squirting whipped cream into faces or anything generally regarded as messy."  
> 
> A different meaning of "schlong" is given in an article in the Altoona (Pa.) Tribune (Dec. 11, 1946), describing an event in 1825 in which an Indian was pursued by a posse and hid in a cave full of snakes.  The posse was scared of the snakes, and the harmless Indian subsequently escaped.
> 
> "As they drew near he began to hiss as loud as a hundred snakes, and the real "schlongs" as the old Dutch people called them, joined in the chorus.  No one would venture in; it was "Dutch bluster" to kill a poor old, tottery Indian, who had done no worse than to be General Harry L. Bouquet's mess-boy or cook but to lie on one's belly and go in head first to a serpentine mass-meeting was different; louder and louder hissed the snakes, and if any courage had existed among the posse it "oozed out of their feet."
> 
> 
> John Baker
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Ben Zimmer
> Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 9:54 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: Dialect clash: _shlong_
> 
> On Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 5:50 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>> 
>> GBooks has the following snippet from 1967:
>> 
>> A carnival of modern humor - Page 152
>> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__books.google.com_books-3Fid-3DjWseAAAAMAAJ&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=thYCJc_cCbaw9DbV0TST8cob7tw4dDnPAsCe1D9TllM&s=Nt1keFL0Zcg0Tv7uWRe0CmlwpJWLm3Z7HMrLcqJN4RE&e= 
>> Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, ‎Scott Meredith - 1967 - ‎Snippet view
>> "But listen, old buddy. I got to beg off. I'm hung up."
>> "Well, OK. I know how busy you educational-TV writers are. How's the show
>> coming?"
>> "Pretty messy. We're doing mostly _*schlong*_ stuff now and very little
>> cerebral."
>> "What the hell is _*schlong*_?"
>> 
>> Unfortunately, the answer to this question is unavailable. And, since our
>> word is here used adjectivally, the answer is most likely irrelevant, in
>> any case. But...
>> 
>> Youneverknow.
>> 
> 
> I can't see the answer to the question either, but from looking at other
> snippets I believe this is a passage from "The Girl with the Bear Rug Eyes"
> by Rex Lardner, a short story originally published in the April 1960 issue
> of Playboy. And given the TV context, the use of "schlong" here is probably
> related to a meaning that Garson uncovered last year:
> 
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__listserv.linguistlist.org_pipermail_ads-2Dl_2015-2DDecember_140199.html&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=thYCJc_cCbaw9DbV0TST8cob7tw4dDnPAsCe1D9TllM&s=DQH_dL31d58NtIzG4KiEAaIhbUogkIdYPuYFGHCBX_U&e= 
> 1954 August 20, St. Petersburg Times, Radio and Television:
> Television's 'Schlongs', Their Antics Described by John Crosby, Quote
> Page 34, Column 1, St. Petersburg, Florida. (Google News
> Archive)
> You know what a schlong is? If you have followed the careers of Ralph
> Edwards or "Beat the Clock" or any other shows of that ilk, you have
> seen a lot of schlongs. A schlong, to end this suspense, is a rather
> messy stunt. A contestant gets a pie in the face. The audience howls.
> That is a schlong.
> 
> 
>> However, cf. the following:
>> 
>> New American Review - Issue 1 - Page 139
>> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__books.google.com_books-3Fid-3DYzhZAAAAYAAJ&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=thYCJc_cCbaw9DbV0TST8cob7tw4dDnPAsCe1D9TllM&s=8dfSGmbLb1NIF6GPESGgC3NSAkEflHBbmhEdPWztMqI&e= 
>> Ted Solotaroff - 1967 - ‎Snippet view
>> Mocked and mangled as his masculinity was, in a world of goyim with golden
>> hair and silver tongues, between his legs, God bless my father! he was
>> constructed like a man of consequence, two big, healthy balls such as a
>> king would be proud of, and a _*shlong*_ [italics original] of magisterial
>> length and girth.
>> 
> 
> As Larry noted upthread, this is from _Portnoy's Complaint_. Roth published
> an early excerpt of the novel in the Sept. 1967 issue of New American
> Review under the title "The Jewish Blues." Excerpts had already appeared in
> other magazines (Esquire, Apr. 1967, "A Jewish Patient Begins His
> Analysis," and Partisan Review, Aug. 1967, "Whacking Off"), but the NAR
> excerpt may have been the first time Roth introduced "s(c)hlong" to the
> world. So that means he still has the earliest citation date (antedating
> CUSS 1968).
> 
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.nybooks.com_articles_2007_10_25_the-2Dbirth-2Dof-2Dportnoy_&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=thYCJc_cCbaw9DbV0TST8cob7tw4dDnPAsCe1D9TllM&s=FopvAWfsZ8KvYU1OOT_k9_QY5VNWaSUokh58XZeF96Q&e= 
> 
> --Ben
> 
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> 
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> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=thYCJc_cCbaw9DbV0TST8cob7tw4dDnPAsCe1D9TllM&s=RXGwbn0lC3xnjN4J4Mi-bjqrO8hrH630yS3OAaZDLto&e= 

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