[Ads-l] What does the ugly stick look like?

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Wed Nov 2 02:56:25 UTC 2016

The NYTimes article includes the two elements Jon lists when describing the initiation ceremony, but is silent about the presence of an ugly stick; the ugly stick is only mentioned when describing the musical.

Jon, just how did you wield the ugly stick?


      From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
 Sent: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 9:40 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] What does the ugly stick look like?
I've actually wielded a Newfoundland ugly stick in a "musical" performance
which was part of my ritual initiation as an "honorary Newfoundlander" in
the town of Trinity.

Other parts of the ritual included kissing a codfish on the lips and
downing a dram of the local "screech."

Make your own ugly stick:


I do not know if this "folk instrument" antedates the 1980s, at least under
the current name.


On Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 7:53 PM, Joel Berson <berson at att.net> wrote:

> From "A 9/11 Parable, Staged for Samaritans," by Michael Paulson, NYTimes,
> Nov. 1, 2016, Arts, C5/6 [New England Edition], discussing the grand first
> performance ever in Gander, Newfoundland, of the musical "Come From Away,"
> which is centered on the hospitality shown stranded international airplane
> passengers and crew diverted to and grounded there after the attack on the
> World Trade Center towers.
> "They [the audience] stomped their feet at the Celtic-inspired folk-rock
> [sic!] and cheered the ugly stick, a local instrument fashioned from bottle
> caps and a boot attached to an upside-down mop."
> Unfortunately, the NYT article does not describe how the ugly stick was
> employed in the musical.
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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