[Ads-l] to kamashaw something

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Mon Mar 15 21:43:50 UTC 2021

I expect this is a variant of _cumshaw_, ultimately from Amoy, originally referring to a gratuity or (more broadly) a bribe, but evolving into something along the lines of what you're describing.

HDAS has this as sense 2 of _cumshaw_ v., 'to obtain by devious or ingenious methods; scrounge', with a first quotation from 1918 in US Navy use, and frequent in the Vietnam War.

Jesse Sheidlower

On Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 04:02:21PM -0500, William Salmon wrote:
> Hello,
> Does anyone on the list know the term "kamashaw" [not sure about spelling]
> from military slang, meaning to steal bits of military property for
> personal use? As in, "Those are regulation US Navy spoons that the ship's
> cook kamashawed."
> Any insight on this word would be appreciated.
> Thanks all!
> Will
> -- 
> Professor of Linguistics
> Head | Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies
> University of Minnesota Duluth
> https://williamsalmon.com
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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