[Ads-l] saluggi

Joan Hall 00000876364530cf-dmarc-request at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Tue Jan 28 15:41:06 UTC 2020

A number of ADS members contributed to DARE’s entry for saluggi more than a decade ago:

saluggi n
Also s(a)loogie, salugie, salugi [Etym unknown] New York City<https://www-daredictionary-com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/search?rcode=region.NYC>
Cf monkey-in-the-middle<https://www-daredictionary-com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/view/dare/ID_00038633#ID_00038633>

An unorganized game among children in which an article is snatched away from a victim and tossed back and forth among the tormentors; also used as a call in the game.

1975 Ferretti Gt. Amer. Book Sidewalk Games<https://www-daredictionary-com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/bibliography?letterHeading=F#bibl_11770> 169, Saluggi, or Saloogie, is another rather simple game that derives from torment. Two or more players simply take something . . virtually anything that can be construed as something of a treasure . . from another kid and throw it back and forth . . while the owner tries desperately to get back his or her property. The only rules are that whoever catches the item must shout, “Saloogie on Chris’s knife!,” . . or whatever and that the victim must be angry, which is not at all difficult. It is not necessary to choose up for a game of Saloogie; rather, the predators have to decide on a victim, which is not difficult.

1977 NY Times (NY)<https://www-daredictionary-com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/bibliography?letterHeading=N#bibl_7159> 6 July 29, It was a game as valid to him and his friends as stoop-ball, kick the can, ring-a-lievio, red rover and salugi were to an earlier generation.

1985 DARE File<https://www-daredictionary-com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/bibliography?letterHeading=D#bibl_11067> NYC<https://www-daredictionary-com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/search?f_0=reglabel&q_0=NYC> (as of c1920), [səˈlu:ǰi]. . . was what we called a nasty little practice in grade school when children—when, the boys—got out. . . Someone would say, “Let’s play [səˈlu:ǰi]!” And he would grab the cap off the head of the nearest boy. . . and he would fling the cap to someone . . across the way. The boy whose cap it was would go rushing after it, and of course the recipient [would] . . fling it off to someone else. And this kept on until the boy was in tears, or until he got so angry that he started to beat people. . . Sometimes. . . after the person was in despair . . somebody would [say] “Ah! give it to him!”

1987 Ibid<https://www-daredictionary-com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/bibliography?letterHeading=#> Bronx NYC<https://www-daredictionary-com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/search?f_0=reglabel&q_0=Bronx%20NYC> (as of 1955), Salugi [ˌsəˈluǰi]—an unorganized torment “played” by boys, which involved snatching the cap or hat off one boy’s head and tossing it back and forth between confederates until the victim either retrieved his cap or was reduced to tears or the use of his fists. Although the cap was the article most frequently snatched, any small article would do. The victim received no warning—all of a sudden he would hear the cry “Salugi!” and his cap would be gone.

1993 Ibid<https://www-daredictionary-com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/bibliography?letterHeading=#> NYC,<https://www-daredictionary-com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/search?f_0=reglabel&q_0=NYC> [Re descriptions of saluggi:] Sounds like saloogie/sloogie all right! Did I tell you it’s also known as Monkey In The Middle.

Ibid NYC,<https://www-daredictionary-com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/search?f_0=reglabel&q_0=NYC> Salugi is/was a rather malicious “game” . . that must have a victim, one who is not a willing player. At least for me, monkey-in-the-middle has no such constraints.

Ibid NYC,<https://www-daredictionary-com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/search?f_0=reglabel&q_0=NYC> I grew up in Brooklyn, but learned the “game” in Manhattan and the Bronx. It is that fine old vicious childhood game of stealing a kid’s hat. . . Usually the kid is fat or short or weak or the wrong sex or wrong color—in any case it is certainly a Persecution Model game. . . I learned the word [=saluggi], then, in Northern New York City in the 1950s, and have heard it nowhere else.

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