End of ADS-L Digest - 1 Dec 1997 to 2 Dec 1997 ********************************************** Subject: ADS-L Digest - 2 Dec 1997 to 3 Dec 1997 There are 12 messages totalling 374 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Cocktail; Highball 2. How cold was it? 3. your mail 4. 5. new 6. Glass Ceiling 7. PopChar (3) 8. RE>Glass Ceiling 9. RE>PopChar 10. Character Display on Macintosh ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 3 Dec 1997 00:18:47 -0500 From: "Barry A. Popik" Subject: Cocktail; Highball (More "sin" citations.) HIGHBALL I posted a "highball" citation a year ago. It's in the ADS-L archives (if they exist). The citation described the phrase "having a ball." This is from the American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine, May-June 1839, pg. 326: GIVING A BALL. A dose of medicine, whether purgative, cordial, diuretic, or any other kind, when given in a solid form, is termed a _ball_. A "highball" is a ball in a high glass. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------- COCKTAIL Peter Tamony's papers on "cocktail" probably have everything there is to say on this. A turf poem containing "cocktail" was posted here a few days ago. This is from the Philadelphia Inquirer, 25 October 1904, "Everybody's Column," pg. 8, col. 4: WHENCE THE WORD "COCKTAIL" (J. C. P.)--"Dear Sir: Can you tell me the derivation of the name .cocktail,' that seductive but insidious drink, much used by the American 'bon vivant'? Is it a U. S. idiomatic word, or is it of an earlier period? When such an authority as Murray's New English Dictionary, which may well claim to be the largest, if not the highest, of its kind (half a dozen ponderous volumes, and not complete at that) describes "cocktail" as "chiefly U. S. (a slang name of which the real origin appears to be lost)" it must be presumptuous on the part of a poor "U. S. newspaper man" to open his mouth on the subject. In all due fear and trembling, therefore, we would fain suggest that in certain parts of Murray's own country, notably in Yorkshire generally and Sheffield particularly, beer that is full of life, fresh and foaming, is dialectically known as "cocktail beer;" the transfer, in popular, rough-and-ready parlance, of the name "cocktail" from a fizzy, foaming, life-full beer to a life-imparting, "cocking-up" rouser such as the "U. S. cocktail" is credited to be, appears to us a very short step; and we humbly beg the privilege of recording the name for your benefit, friend J. C. P. As to the origin of the English dialectical "cocktail beer," it seems likely to be, like a score of other similar forms, the outsome of the popular blending of two notions--"a tail like that of a cock," and "a tail that cocks up." This is from the New York Herald, 16 October 1921, section 7, cols. 4-5, pg. 6: Bits of Horse Lore Out of the Usual By Martha McCullouch Williams (...) WHAT is a cocktail? (...) Harking back to cocktail, it strikes me as possible that the cant name comes remotely from the Arab practice of bending the tail bone of a newly dropped foal over the forefinger till its upper vertebra is dislocated. This insures, after healing, a high carriage of the tail--something more barbarously secured by the farrier's practice of nicking. Thus the cocktail came to be held an indication of spirit, eke of blood--horses showing foot and gameness might well be entitled to it. As to how the name came to fit also a drink here is a theory, not so far fetched as some, with a few facts behind it. When Washington fought the redcoats for possession of New York town he and his staff rested at a house of call in what is now The Bronx, and were there waited on by a buxom landlady, a widow who had a fine hand at mixing things spirituous. One day she tried a new brew, sipped, then swallowed, then passed the potion as a stirrup gup to her guests, already in saddle, saying: "Drink hearty, gentlemen. It's good! I say so. 'Twill make ye each feel as sassy as a cocktail." (...)