End of ADS-L Digest - 12 Aug 1997 to 13 Aug 1997 ************************************************ Subject: ADS-L Digest - 13 Aug 1997 to 14 Aug 1997 There are 2 messages totalling 106 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Full Monty; Reuben, Reuben; Tudor-tourist words 2. minivan/microbus ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 14 Aug 1997 22:30:24 -0400 From: "Barry A. Popik" Subject: Full Monty; Reuben, Reuben; Tudor-tourist words THE FULL MONTY THE FULL MONTY is a movie that just opened; the term was discussed by Evan Morris in his Daily News column last Sunday. THE MACMILLAN DICTIONARY OF CONTEMPORARY SLANG (3rd ed.) by Jonathon Green, for example, has "monte" but no "monty." The Daily News column didn't discuss this, but what about an influence from the obvious--MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS? What does that "Monty" mean? In other movie news, I just learned that Sylvester Stallone's COP LAND is not about Aaron Copland. Too bad--he could beat Apollo Creed in three notes. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------------- REUBEN, REUBEN On my way between two branches of the NYPL, I often pass a restaurant at East 38th Street and Madison Avenue called Reuben's. The restaurant advertises "From a sandwich to a national institution." Was the Reuben sandwich made here? No, this was NOT the original Reuben's. The original was started in 1943 at 58th Street off Fifth Avenue (near my home) and went out of business in 1979. THIS Reuben's bought that name. THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION (Barron's Cooking Guide) has this on pages 478-479: REUBEN SANDWICH. Reportedly originally named for its creator, Arthur Reuben (owner of New York's once-famous and now-defunct Reuben's delicatessen), this sandwich is made with generous layers of corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut on sourdough rye bread. Reuben is said to have created the original version (which was reportedly made with ham) for Anne Seelos, the leading lady in a Charlie Chaplin film being shot in 1914. Another version of this famous sandwich's origin is that an Omaha wholesale grocer (Reuben Kay) invented it during a poker game in 1955. It gained national prominence when one of his poker partner's employees entered the recipe in a national contest the following year...and won. The Reuben sandwich can be served either cold or grilled. OED has it from 1956. American sandwich names deserves serious study. Fortunately, LADYFINGERS & NUN'S TUMMIES just came out! Let's see, no "Reuben"...no "hero"...no "hoagie"...no "grinder"...no "submarine"...I still can't believe this book got published! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------------- TUDOR-TOURIST WORDS This continues an occasional series of tour guide etymologies. This is from the New York Post, 12 August 1997, pg. 56, cols. 1-6, "Rule of thumb: a Tudor-ial in the origins of English" by Nadine Godwin of Travel Weekly: (...) We collected the following during our house tours: . Bed and board. Tabletops were simply boards laid on top of wooden supports, and so, as the place where food was laid out the word board came to mean food, too. In addition, the boards were moved to the floor to serve as beds for guests. Hence, guests were offered bed and board. . Bonfire. Graves were emptied after about 20 years and the bones burned on a "bon fire." . By hook or by crook. People could have any food from public lands that they could extract from the ground with a hook or from trees with a crook. . Chairman of the board. This comes from the fact the head of the household was the only person to have his own chair, making him the chair man, and, sitting at the table, or board, he was chairman of the board. . Cold shoulder. This referred to a cold piece of meat, usually the shoulder of a carcass, that was served to an unwelcome guest. . Lick the platter clean. Diners literally licked their plates clean for reuse because the dishes were never washed. . Sleep tight. Several mattresses were stacked on the bed and supported by ropes strung from a wooden frame. One tied the ropes tight to keep from falling through to the floor. . On the shelf. Children slept on a braod shelf, and because they slept there until marriage, unwed daughters were still on the shelf. . Rule of thumb. A husband was encouraged to beat his wife, but was not to use a stick any wider than his thumb. (One more "rule of thumb" and I'll bring out the three words ending in "-gry"--ed.) . Square meal. Meals were square because the wooden trenchers that served as plates were square. . The dead of the night. These were the victims of the black plague, carried away at night for disposal.