[Ads-l] Quote: Coolidge was weaned on a pickle

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Mar 20 19:06:46 UTC 2019

Wonderful entry!  There is perhaps one missing link: 
Given that the 1864 precursor is based on a review of comedian Brown’s gig in Montpelier, VT (applied to the nature of supposed dyspeptic Vermonters in the audience) and given that Silent Cal was himself notoriously a Vermonter, there is no doubt something about the Green Mountain state that must be conducive to pickle-weaning.


> On Mar 20, 2019, at 4:59 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> The saying in the subject line has been investigated by several
> researchers. It is often attributed to Alice Roosevelt Longworth. Now
> the QI website has an entry:
> The only trouble with Coolidge is that he was weaned on a pickle.
> https://quoteinvestigator.com/2019/03/18/pickle/
> There is substantive evidence that Longworth did make a remark of this
> type in 1924; however, she disclaimed its creation in her 1933
> autobiography. In addition, the core of the insult was circulating by
> the 1860s.
> In 1864 comedian William B. Brown booked a venue in Montpelier,
> Vermont. The local newspaper published effusive praise for his
> forthcoming performance and guaranteed that even dejected individuals
> would enjoy the levity.
> [ref] 1864 March 7, Walton’s Daily Journal, That Comical Brown, Quote
> Page 2, Column 1, Montpelier, Vermont. (Newspapers_com)  [/ref]
> [Begin excerpt]
> . . . Mr. Brown has taken the largest Hall in Montpelier, it will
> undoubtedly be crowded with as happy a congregation of mortals as ever
> assembled within its walls, for if any man can make a poor, miserable,
> dyspeptic, weaned-on-a-pickle curmudgeon laugh till his sides ache,
> Brown is the man.
> [End excerpt]
> Barry Popik found an instance of the Coolidge insult in August 30,
> 1924. I was able to push this date back to June 13, 1924.
> [Begin acknowledgement]
> Thanks to previous researchers including Barry Popik, Ralph Keyes,
> Nigel Rees, and Fred Shapiro who located valuable citations.
> [End acknowledgement]
> Feedback welcome,
> Garson O'Toole
> QuoteInvestigator.com
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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