[Ads-l] between a rock and a hard place (1914)
adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 30 08:51:13 UTC 2021
Here is a different match for the Gov. Harris story. The phrasing is
slightly different. Now the phrase "for and against" makes sense
although it is a bit awkward. This story, and the target phrase, also
appeared in other newspapers.
Please double check details before using any of these citations.
Date: August 13, 1915
Newspaper: The Columbia Record
Newspaper Location: Columbia, South Carolina
Article: They're Fussing Over In Jaw-Jaw
Author: (Special to The Record)
Quote Page 8, Column 3
(Special to The Record)
Atlanta, Aug. 13.—Gov. Nat E. Harris must be finding himself today
"between a hard place and a rock" if all the "pressure" that is being
talked about is really being brought to bear on him for and against
the inclusion of prohibition in the extra session call.
Below is an instance in Florida in 1915.
Date: August 18, 1915
Newspaper: Miami Daily Metropolis
Newspaper Location: Miami, Florida
Article: Public Pulse
Author: Letter to the editor from A. E. Van Velsan
Quote Page 2, Column 1
He is between a hard place and a rock and in order to protect him from
any further damage it Is incumbent upon the city council to take some
action in this matter.
Here is an instance in Alaska in 1916.
Date: December 05, 1916
Newspaper: Alaska Daily Empire
Article: (One panel comic titled "Fuller Bull Says")
Quote Page 4, Column 3
(One-panel comic title)
Fuller Bull Says:
(Dialog between two men in comic)
COME ON WITH US!
NO! GUESS I'LL GO HOME!
(Caption of comic)
A HENPECK with no place to go but home is between a hard place and a rock.
On Sat, Oct 30, 2021 at 4:02 AM ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Great work, Ben.
> Here is a match in a newspaper article with an Atlanta, Georgia
> dateline in 1915. The phrase was placed between quotation marks, and
> the two key elements were permuted.
> Date: August 13, 1915
> Newspaper: Americus Times-Recorder (City Edition)
> Newspaper Location: Americus, Georgia
> Article: Governor Harris Has Puzzling Issue Presented To Him
> Quote Page 1, Column 5
> Database: GenealogyBank
> [Begin excerpt]
> (Special to Times-Recorder)
> ATLANTA, Ga., Aug. 13.—Governor Nat E. Harris must be finding himself
> today "between a hard place and a rock" if all the "pressure" that is
> being talked about is really being brought to bear on him for and
> opposing the inclusion of prohibition in the extra session call.
> [End excerpt]
> The inclusion of the word "and" might be a newspaper error.
> On Sat, Oct 30, 2021 at 2:35 AM Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
> > OED3's earliest cite for the idiom "between a rock and a hard place" comes
> > from a 1921 issue of Dialect Notes, which defined it as "to be bankrupt.
> > Common in Arizona in recent panics; sporadic in California." The Phrase
> > Finder site speculates that it originated in a 1917 dispute between copper
> > mining companies and mineworkers in Bisbee, Arizona:
> > https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place.html
> > On the English Language & Usage Stack Exchange, KarlG finds that theory
> > implausible, noting that the expression was used by an American soldier
> > writing home from Europe in 1918:
> > https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/32785/expression-caught-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place
> > The soldier's letter (dated Nov. 9, 1918 from "somewhere in France") was
> > published in a New Mexico newspaper:
> > ---
> > https://www.newspapers.com/clip/88021911/between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place/
> > Mountainair (New Mex.) Independent, Dec 19, 1918, p. 8, col. 2
> > Seeing from the papers, that we have the Central Power bunch between a rock
> > and a hard place, I am afraid that the hard place will get harder than the
> > rock if Fritz don’t wake up and get out while he is yet breathing.
> > ---
> > But it's possible to find it in use even earlier than that, as in this 1914
> > item:
> > ---
> > https://www.newspapers.com/clip/88021863/between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place/
> > Poteau (Okla.) Weekly Sun, Oct 1, 1914, p. 5, col. 1
> > As an example of fine distinctions, a party of men were discussing the
> > present situation of the German army this week. One remarked that the
> > Germans were between the devil and the deep sea; while another corrected
> > him by saying that the Germans were between the upper and nether stone. The
> > third man whose name is Pillgreen and who works in the treasurer’s office
> > simply remarked that the Germans were between a rock and a hard place.
> > Here’s hoping that all three versions are in the main correct, so as to end
> > the war.
> > ---
> > It's interesting that both the 1914 and 1918 examples relate to the
> > fortunes of Germany and the Central Powers in World War I.
> > --bgz
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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