Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 01:12:38 -0500
From: Mike Salovesh
Subject: Re: -hop & car-hopping

Yongwei Gao wrote:
> Dear all,
> I am doing topic-hopping, the frequent switching of topics. The nonce
> word is patterned after bed-hop, channel-hop, club-hop, car-hop and many
> others. Of the definitions for car-hopping, I am most puzzled: as
> bed-hop means to engage in promiscuous sexual relationships ,
> car-hopping should be something like the frequent change of automobiles
> during a trip . However, I have so far collected three alternatives:


Fourth possibility: an alternative to "car hiker", "parking attendant",
and other terms for someone (frequently at highly popular, expensive
restaurants) who helps a customer out of a car, then drives the car to a
nearby parking place, and retrieves it at the customer's request. I
know that this is non-standard, but I have seen this usage on signs
posted in front of some Chicago restaurants. (The last one I remember
was in a heavily restauranted area known locally as "Greek Town".)

Another set of alternative terms for people so employed is used after
the car is returned in worse condition than when it was taken away.
Those terms are usually regarded as vulgar, if not downright indecent.

The worst names used for those who do this job are reserved for a few
weeks or months after they have performed their service in a manner well
known in upscale neighborhoods in Chicago. That's when the city goes
after the car's owner to press charges for an unpaid ticket for a
parking violation the owner never heard of, because the one who took the
car and parked it illegally destroyed the ticket before returning the

-- mike salovesh
anthropology department
northern illinois university PEACE !!!