[Ads-l] _roon(e)y stick_ "joint, marijuana cigarette"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 4 05:15:53 UTC 2017

I decided to check whether this term existed anywhere else than in my
memory as a bit of  slang peculiar to Saint Louis. And I found it!
Unfortunately, in context, the meaning of the term is unclear, though the
date is correct:

New Life of Mr. Martin - Page 42
Robert Briffault - 1947 - Snippet view
   "Listen here, Taddy Pole, and are you, honest to God, after tormenting
yourself to be taught a lesson in Polish, bejakes? And are you, though? You
. . . you half-begotten galoot, you breech-loading, _rooney-stick_
rantallion! Tell us where you'd like to be buried, you wriggling lump of
calamity. Come away till I let the daylight into you."

OTOH, I was able to find simple _rooney_ in Green's in the relevant
meaning, with no trouble:

rooney, n. marijuana

Under Quotation search, Green's provides three examples of _rooney_, all
from a single work:

Man Walking on Eggshells
Herbert Simmons - 1962 - Preview

As coincidence would have it, Herbert Simmons is not only a fellow St.
Louisan, but we are also fraternity-brothers, he having been the guest of
honor and featured speaker at the initiation banquet for my "line" - group
of initiates into a fraternity - in 1957.

Very likely, when the occasion arose, he, too, used "rooney-stick," in
speech, if not in writing and "rooney" / "rooney-stick," in the relevant
meanings, was peculiar to The Lou.
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

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