[Ads-l] Kavanaugh yearbook

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Wed Sep 26 23:20:06 UTC 2018

> On Sep 26, 2018, at 3:50 PM, victor steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> ... following Kavanaugh's claims of virginity & light
> drinking in the Fox interview, I started raising the issue of "Ralph":
> "Beach Week Ralph Club - Biggest Contributor".
> In my mind the interpretation is clear, yet, I've seen no public comments
> on the subject (other than mine). I'll reserve my interpretation for later
> & ask others to suggest possibilities (or certainties), particularly those
> who were high-school or college students in the Northeast 1968-1988.

from my undergrad years, 1958-62: "to ralph" was a (very) common alternative to "to barf", both sound-symbolic / echoic / imitative for 'to vomit' (and both attested from the 1960s; GDoS has the verb "ralph" from 1964 on, with plenty of cites).

GDoS also has a Pam Munro campus slang cite for the noun "ralph" for 'penis' -- so-called in Judy Blume's 1975 _Forever_ -- just another phallonym based on a common male personal name, and almost surely irrelevant in the current context.

in any case: monumental drinking, monumental ralphing.


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

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