[Ads-l] to "finagle" cotton

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sun Aug 8 16:13:34 UTC 2021

"The cotton, known locally as phuti karpas, was very delicate, snapped and
frayed easily, and could only be finagled under conditions of
extreme—sometimes artificially enhanced—humidity."

>From an article called "Resurrecting an Ancient Fabric. . . .", circulated
on the Good News Network, April 20, 2021, and by the Daily Kos a week
later, which is where I saw it.

My father was an old-time Brooklyn guy, born in the early 1890s.  He used
"finagle" frequently, always meaning to achieve something by underhanded
methods.  "He was finagled out of $20", for instance.

So this is a sense of "finagle" that Father wouldn't recognize, but I have
to be glad to see it reborn in a new century.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998.

But when aroused at the Trump of Doom / Ye shall start, bold kings, from
your lowly tomb. . .
L. H. Sigourney, "Burial of Mazeen", Poems.  Boston, 1827, p. 112

The Trump of Doom -- also known as The Dunghill Toadstool.  (Here's a
picture of his great-grandfather.)

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

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