[Ads-l] Antedating of "How Do You Like Them Apples?"

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 7 02:00:43 EDT 2019


Precursor (?), 1893, "how's them for apples?"

Found in one story which appeared in two newspapers in 1893.

First appeared in Chicago Inter-Ocean in a story about someone from Washington state bragging about how great things are out west.  At one point, the Washingtonian says. "Look at that chunk of coal - 25 tons.  How's them for apples? Say, did you ever see such potatoes? Bushel in a hill."

Chicago Inter-Ocean, June 17, 1893, page 6.

Yakima Herald, June 23, 1893, page 2.

It may be ambiguous.  Does "how's  them for apples" refer back to the large chunk of coal? Or is it a separate boast about Washington apples, as is the following boast about potatoes?

I read it as more likely similar to "how 'bout them apples?"

________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, August 6, 2019 6:35:22 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Antedating of "How Do You Like Them Apples?"

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
Subject:      Re: Antedating of "How Do You Like Them Apples?"
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> On Aug 6, 2019, at 3:26 PM, Baker, John <JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM> wrote:
>=20
> Arnold Zwicky has a discussion of this rhetorical question on his blog to=
day, https://arnoldzwicky.org/2019/08/06/gloating-over-them-apples/, and it=
 reminded me that I had looked at its origin some years ago.  I decided to =
take another look....

many thanks to John (and now also Peter Reitan) for these comments. i'd int=
ended to post a link to my blog posting on ADS-L (hoping that the experts i=
n phrase and quotes histories -- the hounds of ADS-L -- would be able to sh=
ed some light on that side of the topic), but i've been sick and just barel=
y eking out the occasional posting, so i didn't get around to notifying ADS=
-L until late this afternoon.  and now John and Peter have done the work fo=
r me.=20

i'll transfer their postings here to comments on my blog, so that they'll g=
et some audience outside of ADS-L.

again, many thanks.

arnold

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