[Ads-l] "short-bus people"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 20 14:32:41 EDT 2021


Laurence Horn  wrote:
> I wonder if this “short dog” for ‘short bus’ is related to “riding the dog”
> for taking the Greyhound (or by extension another long-distance bus.

Here is a 1986 citation that quotes a person using "riding the big
dog" to mean riding a Greyhound bus.

Date: June 7, 1986
Newspaper: News-Journal
Newspaper Location: Mansfield, Ohio
Article: Commuter flights canceled for now
Author: Steve Wright (News Journal)
Quote Page 12A, Column 6
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
"When I took Fischer to Cleveland, then U.S. Air to Pittsburgh, I
could be in downtown Pittsburgh by 8:30 a.m.," Thoss said. "Now I'll
have to take a Greyhound bus that leaves Mansfield at 9:30 a.m. and
doesn't get to Pittsburgh until 3:30 p.m. I guess I'll get a lot of
sleep riding the big dog."
[End excerpt]

Garson


> As far as my own familiarity—like Jon, elementary school in NYC in the ‘50s and no familiarity with the expression until I read reviews of the aforementioned movie “Shortbus” came out that explained the reference.
>
> LH
>
>
> > On May 20, 2021, at 9:30 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> >
> > I vaguely remembered hearing about a short story that referred to a
> > short bus as a short dog. Eventually, my memory was coaxed into
> > revealing the name of the famous story which used "short dog" in the
> > title. A bibliography for James Still, the author of the tale,
> > indicated that the story was first published in 1951.
> >
> > Short story title: A Ride on the Short Dog
> > Author: James Still
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > The vehicle was scarcely half the length of regular buses—The Short
> > Dog everybody called it.
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > http://faculty.csupueblo.edu/sandy.hudock/biblio.html
> > A James Still Bibliography
> > "A Ride on the Short Dog." Atlantic 188, no. 1 (July 1951):55-58.
> >
> > Garson
> >
> > On Wed, May 19, 2021 at 11:04 PM Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> Pretty certain we had a short bus for special ed students in my small, rural hometown that dozens of regular sized busses coming in from the country in the 1960s.
> >> ________________________________
> >> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> >> Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 6:53:00 PM
> >> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >> Subject: Re: "short-bus people"
> >>
> >> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> >> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> >> Subject:      Re: "short-bus people"
> >> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >>
> >> The 2006 edition of Partridge has "ride the short bus" with a first
> >> citation in 1995. Further below is a December 1994 citation.
> >>
> >> Year: 2006
> >> Book: The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English,
> >> Volume 2: J-Z,
> >> Editors: Tom Dalzell and Terry Victor,
> >> Publisher: Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group, New York.
> >> Entry: ride the short bus,
> >> Quote Page 1615
> >>
> >> [Begin excerpt]
> >> ride the short bus
> >> to be mentally deficient US
> >> From the literally short bus that special education students use in the US.
> >>
> >> Actually, I think our bass player, Frank [Cavanaugh], rode the short
> >> bus, but that was 'cause his mom drove it =E2=80=94 Baltimore sun, p. 8, 28=
> >> th
> >> September 1995
> >>
> >> =E2=80=94Chris Lewis, The Dictionary of Playground Slang p 184, 2003
> >> [End excerpt]
> >>
> >> Date: December 31, 1994
> >> Newspaper: The Leader-Post
> >> Newspaper Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
> >> Article: 'Tak a cup o' kindness for auld lang syne'
> >> Author: Ron Petrie
> >> Quote Page A3, Column 4
> >> Database: Newspapers.com
> >>
> >> [Begin excerpt]
> >> When you're a Scottish laddie on your first day of school and you ask
> >> permission go to the bathroom -- "Kin ye lit me oot? I mus' gae my wee
> >> nip a tinkle!" -- the teacher immediately brings in a speech
> >> pathologist. "Special" is what the pathologist calls you -- "Special
> >> Ronnie" -- but deep down you know that soon you'll be riding the short
> >> bus to school.
> >> [End excerpt]
> >>
> >> On Wed, May 19, 2021 at 8:31 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> w=
> >> rote:
> >>>
> >>> Live and learn. Thanks.
> >>>
> >>> I believe that was the practice even when I was in elementary school, but
> >>> I've never heard the term "short bus."
> >>>
> >>> JL
> >>>
> >>> On Wed, May 19, 2021 at 8:18 PM James Eric Lawson <jel at nventure.com> wrot=
> >> e:
> >>>
> >>>> Derived from the practice of using short(er) school buses to transport
> >>>> students with 'special needs'.
> >>>>
> >>>> On 5/19/21 3:55 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> >>>>> What th' -- ?
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>> https://www.yahoo.com/news/qanon-shaman-lawyer-makes-offensive-21443590=
> >> 3.html
> >>>>
> >>>> --
> >>>> James Eric Lawson
> >>>>
> >>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth=
> >> ."
> >>>
> >>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>
> >> ------------------------------------------------------------
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> >>
> >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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