End of ADS-L Digest - 6 Dec 1997 to 7 Dec 1997 ********************************************** Subject: ADS-L Digest - 7 Dec 1997 to 8 Dec 1997 There are 17 messages totalling 873 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Craps (three long articles) 2. Posts from non-professionals (7) 3. welsh/welch and taffy (2) 4. "The Donald" 5. "Ich bin ein Berliner" 6. How cold was it? 7. HOW COLD IS IT? (Wie kalt ist es?) 8. Can't we all just get along? (2) 9. Keyboarding ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 04:41:21 EST From: Bapopik Subject: Craps (three long articles) At the risk of more typographical mistakes, here are three long articles on "craps." This is from the Cincinnati Enquirer, 12 June 1886, pg. 10, col. 2: PLAYING "CRAPS." Scenes Around a Table Where a Heavy Brand of This Popular Game is in Progress. "Hi-yah! Good dawg! Run ererost'n scald 'im!? Oonce!!!" exclaimed a dusky dice-shaker in a Clark-street gambling hell. Around the table, forty feet long by five wide, were gathered a motley crowd of one hundred colored gamblers, whose eager countenances betrayed the intense interest with which they watched the roll of the dice. The game of "craps," as played in the alleys and on street corners by gamins and news-arabs is in itself an insignificant game, but when it assumes proportions that allow one hundred players at a time, it becomes decidedly interesting. The dive referred to is one of three in a block on Clark street about a minute's walk from the Post-office building. It is situated on the ground floor in a barroom, with nothing but a portable screen to present the passer- by from noticing the game that is in full blast day and night behind it. It is here that the colored waiters, barbers and call-boys employed in the large hotels nightly congregate and take chances of losing or quadrupling their perquisites. The railroad porter, too, in his traveling cap and with his satin-lined overcoat hanging on his arm, is seen trying his luck. Stewards, cooks, steamboat hands, butlers and waiters from private residences make it their rendezvous when work is over for the day. Thousands of dollars change hands in the course of the year in this shady retreat. "Craps" is characteristically a darky's game. It is simple, and therefore easy for him to understand. But few white men ever play it. At the middle of the table stands the "rake off," whose business it is to decide all bets or accept all bets offered him. He is willing to bet both ways with any and every one on the same throw of the dice. For each bet made he receives a nickel, which he drops through a small slot into the commission-box. This box is about the size of a cigar-box, and is emptied when it is full, which is several times a day. Before the "rake off" is a diagram: (Sorry! I can't draw here!--ed.) Upon this is placed the original bet offered by the shaker, and the darkies crowding around the board bet either with him, or the "rake off," or among themselves, as they please. Each winner of a bet pays five cents to the "rake off," who often makes between $4 and $5 commission in a single throw of the dice. As the game itself is a small matter, and only the peculiar phrases and incantations used by the superstitious darkies to charm the dice are the real attraction to a visitor, but brief explanation is needed regarding the game. Two dice are shaken in the hand and rolled upon the board. The shaker cries "Seben!" Should the dice turn up a combination, six and one, five and two, or four and three, he receives four times the amount of his bet. Should they turn up two and one it is "craps," and he loses. Should the total be six he must roll again until he makes six, when he will win; provided he does not roll seven or eleven while trying to shake out the second six. The same law governs combinations totaling four, five, eight, nine, and ten. The exclamations noted above were made by a burnt-coffee-colored darky and his throw was five. "Shake ergin, niggah," said a coal-black individual standing at the opposite side of the board, "Ar'm betting on yo', niggah. Jess rub dis luckybone on dem yere cogs," said another. "Two bits 'e doan' shoot!" "Ar dun got yo'. Shoot on, skinny, like yo' wuz white trash." (I assume no responsibility for this. Dalzell wanted "craps" stuff--ed.) "Zip-zong-zekel-hezikiah!" ejaculated the shaker as he blew in his fist and rolled the dice over the board. Four was the throw. "Shake dies, niggah, shake dies!" spoke a man about ten shades blacker than the man he addressed as "niggah." "Wetcher throw, coon?" "Little Jo. Jo Day! 'E dun got no use for Little Jo. Shoot Favor dies. Seben! Go 'way, niggah; gimme dem dies. Ar dun lose money on yo'. You'se no-good. Go outside and roll bricks. Dollar Ar shoots," said the new shaker, ringing down a dollar on the board. "De man not dun puts his money 'gin dat yere loses. Yo 'eah me!" and he broke into a chant, blowing the words into his fist for luck. Ole man in de mountain, Er bowin' up 'n down; Sally in de sugar-tree Er shakin' sugar down-- The rest was smothered in a whisper to the dice. "Nine," called the "rake-off." "Uts er nine--er long nine. Ef Ar dun git er nine Ar'll eat--Ar din't eat nuffin terday. Ef Ar dun git er nine Ar eat beefsteak 'n inyuns." Befo' dis time annudder day, O Lawd, how long! Down in some lonesome graveyard At may be gone-- "Cudgy! Cudgy! Cudgy! Heeyarh! Zoop!!! Ar dun tole yo'. My money, nigga! Two dollars Ar shoots," and he chanted again: Moola-roola-feterich, (RHHDAS has "moola" from 1939 and says "origin unknown"--ed.) Roll 'em up er seben! Moola roola-nigga-witch, Doan' yo make erleben!" "Craps!" yelled a chorus when the dice turned up. "Go way fum yere," said the shaker to a lemon-colored fellow who stood grinning at his elbow, "yo's a Jonah, yo' is. ("Jonah" would become popular in baseball in 1887--ed.) Yo' dun gib me bad luck; yo's been er playing wiff er coffin. Go way fum yere." The next shaker was a sleeping-car porter. He rang down a $20 gold- piece. "Shoot 'em fo' twenty!" he said, as he brushed the inevitable silk traveling-cap over the back of his shiny pate, which was egg-shaped, little end up. "Seben, Ar want, 'n seben Ar muss hab. Oonga-thoonga-doonga-zamah!" "Six," called the "rake-off." "Six, eh? Ooph! Gimme dem dies. Cl'ar de road, dar, yo' niggas. Six! six! ach! ooph! cou'nt make er six wiff a lead pencil. Six! six! Dat's it, honey. My money, chile. Play 'em fo' forty. Now fo' seben. Seben! seben! Got no function fo' ter make seben! Seben! seben! Roll, Jordan, roll. Cou'nt make er seben wiff er stamp. Hee-yah! Zoom! (Last two words nearly illegible--ed.) "Eden got it. Fo' fo' one! E's dun got crap-luck! Be'n er makin' lub to white gal. Shoo! Dun got ter sit up der drinks. Shout, yo' nigga, shout!" were the cries around the board, and every man but the rake-off, who had lost $160 on the throw, opened wide an ivory-trimmed whisky tomb in anticipation. This particular way of gambling was not invented by the colored man. He borrowed it from his masters. Eighty years ago it was a favorite, especially in England, where it was known as hazard. It was played by Fox, sung by Byron, and "written up" by Hoyle. Since then it has fallen from its high estate, and as some mansion once the abode of wealth and rank sinks to a cheap tenement house, so the game of noblemen has become the sport of newsboys and porters, It has altered somewhat in the processes of time, and has gained much in simplicity, but still retains many of the features of hazard. The word "craps" is nothing but "crabs," which was the name given to the unlucky throw of aces or trois ace. As for the incantations or mystic words, they are much the same as boys used to use in playing marbles and other like games. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------ This is from the New York Press, 14 April 1895, part VI, pg. 2, cols. 2-3: THEY MAKE OUR GAMBLERS Street Games in Which Chance Plays a Part. MOTHERS HAVE MADE COMPLAINTS "Craps," Played with Dice, Is Most Popular, and "Pictures," Played with Photographs Found in Cigarette Packages, Comes Next--Boys Always Know How Fast a "Copper" Can Run--An Idiom (?-ed.) Revived Nearly every one of the street games played by boys are flavors of gambling. It has been said that every human being has the gambling instinct in his bosom, which can be developed at a moment's notice. Watch that crowd of youngsters swarming upon the flagstones by the side of one of the morning newspaper offices in Park row! If you are not a policeman you can get near enough to look over their shoulders and see what it is that engrosses them. They are throwing dice and exchanging pennies, and are all so deeply interested that the scene might be Monte Carlo instead of a New York thoroughfare. The game is "craps," and although it is played by many thousands of boys throughout the United States now, it is a foreign importation. It was brought from Italy only a dozen years ago. (Oops! See above!--ed.) Two dice are used and certain combinations of numbers must be thrown to win, while other combinations lose. "Seven, come 'leven." yells a boy with a tuft of red hair on his forehead. A smaller boy, with the sharp, dark Semitic face to be seen so often in this city, responds, "It's a lie." Then both bend over to watch the next throw, without caring anything about the imputation of dishonor conveyed in the last remark. "CRAPS" DIALECT. "T'row de dice square," "Roll 'em out," "Make 'em wabble," "Day's loaded fer aces," "Shake de bones," are a few of the expressions that ring out from the mass of squirming arms and legs and bobbing, tousled heads, while the game grows more exciting every minute. The boys are "shooting craps" with a vengeance. Some of them have lost or won as much as eight or ten pennies. A "copper" said that he could not tell much about the minutiae of "shooting craps," because the boys would never let him get near enough to investigate. "And you can bet, the boys know which policemen can run the fastest," he added. "Shooting pictures" is also a popular gambling game with the street boys of New York. (Thank goodness they invented baseball cards--ed.) The pictures are the photographs of actresses that come with packages of cigarettes. They are about twice as large as a Columbian postage stamp and are fairly executed representations of stage beauties. The boys do not care anything about the pictures as pictures, but as implements of gambling they have a peculiar value. They are usually collected from the gutters, where they were tossed by the smoker. Each player throws a picture toward the wall, and the one that gets nearest to it wins the others. Another picture game is "heads and tails." One boy throws a picture up in the air and the other boy guesses as to which side will come down uppermost. Sometimes the boys play "craps" for pictures when they have no pennies, the game coming to an end when some one is "busted." Pictures are played (?-ed.) when there are no pennies, and when pictures are gone they play for anything else they may have in their pockets. TEE-TO-TUM STILL POPULAR. The old fashioned amusement of tee-to-tum is as popular now as it was a hundred years ago. Boys make their tee-to-tum of wood, with figures on the sides, and they spin it on the sidewalk and get as much fun out of it as do the adult gamblers in handsomely appointed "rooms." A game that was in vogue twenty-five years ago, and that has been revived in New York lately, is called "Ring and relief, oh!" A stick is leaned slanting against a wall, and one boy is required to keep it in that position while the others try to knock it down. This may be seen in Harlem and other resident districts at this time of the year, when outdoor games are just becoming possible. It is innocent and athletic. Leapfrog, in which the boy who is "down" gets a kick from every boy that passes over him, is engaging the juvenile attention now, and "button," hand ball, base ball, tops, and marbles have all made their appearance within the last week or so, in recognition of the approach of spring. The American game of poker is played on the street corners by the boys who cannot find anywhere else to do it. The technical expressions are all familiar to the average American boy, who takes to poker as naturally, apparently, as he does to base ball. BAD INFLUENCE OF CRAPS. "The playing of craps is becoming dangerous to young people," said a school principal to a Press reporter. "Almost every day mothers come to me and complain that their boys 'shoot craps,' and ask me to do something to prevent it. What can I do? The little rascals (The little rascals?--ed.) take care not to play around the school, and if they were to see me half a mile away on the street their dice would be out of sight immediately. Boys will gamble, if there is any opportunity at all, and how can you deprive them of all opportunity? Why, men in State prisons manage to gamble. The only thing to be done is to try to make them see the evil and folly of it, and in a few cases, by appealing to a boy's better nature, you can keep him from this kind of wrongdoing, but not easily. One boy will lead another into mischief, and there you are. Still, I do not think a boy is necessarily bad because he 'shoots craps,' or even plays poker. Some of the greatest men in this country play poker, and we are rather proud of them--as a nation--too." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------- The first article had a "Little Joe" antedate. This last article also contains "Phoebe," "Jimmy Hicks," "Big Dick," and more. It's from the New York Sun, 7 November 1897, part four, pg. 2, col. 6: THE SCIENCE OF CRAPS. Likewise the Lingo of That Characteristically Southern Game. _From the Atlanta Constitution._ "Come seven-eleven!" "Fade you!" "Cut his throat, seven!" "Jimmy Hicks, take my gal to Memphis!" "Big Dick is mine!" "Come, Little Joe!" These expressions are a part of the vocabulary which accompanies any well-arranged sitting of the Southern darky's great game of craps. Throughout the entire South the game is now probably played, although it has been in existence only about twenty years. (Huh?--ed.) But just how the name originated is not known. It is used in only one part of the game, on the very first throw, when the thrower is said to "crap out." The rules under which the remarkable game is played are interesting. >From one of the king crap players in Atlanta I have been initiated into the mysteries of the game, and I have given all the rules here as faithfully as if I was transcribing the new rules in whist. Any number of persons can shoot craps. I say shoot advisedly, for no crap player ever uses the word play. The game is played with two dice. The first player places them in the hollow of his right hand (unless he is left- handed), and shaking them about a bit, throws them upon the floor or the ground, generally the ground. Before he throws he states how much he is throwing for, usually a nickel. Some one among the other players cries out: "I fade you!" That means the thrower's money is covered. There then can be as many side bets as the other players wish to make. If on the firstthrow the player makes seven or eleven he wins. If he throws two, three or twelve on the first throw he loses, or craps out. If he throws four, five, six, eight, nine or ten, that is called his point, and he throws again until he either makes his point once more or makes seven. If he makes his point before he makes seven, he wins; but if seven comes first, he loses. The thrower can hold the dice as long as he continues to win, but when he loses he surrenders them to the next player. Any person in the game has the right to pick up the dice quickly when a player makes the first throw. He does this to see that no loaded dice have been smuggled into the game. The usual way of doing this is for a player to reach out as the dice fall and say: "My dice." He examines them, blows on them, and, tossing them back to the thrower, says: "Your dice; shoot!" If this is attempted at any other stage of the game, except on the first throw, a legitimate show-down of white-handled razors is in order. The person who offers to cover the thrower's money is called the "fader." Most of the betting in the game is done by those who are standing around. Nearly all the points on the dice are named. Four is called "Little Joe," five is called "Phoebe" or "fever," six is known as "Jimmy Hicks," nine is "Liz," and ten is "Big Dick," sometimes also called "Big Tom." When a game has been arranged those who havethe cash sit or stand around, and the first thrower tosses up his coin and gets ready to shoot. He blows upon the dice, make an exclamation that sounds like a deep, aspirated "Ah!" throws the dice upon the ground, and, as they fall, snaps his fingers (Not "pops his fingers"?--ed.) sharply. This may seem like some special trimmings, but the manoeuvres are as much a part of the game as putting up the money. When he has been faded the outside betting begins, the thrower acting slowly to give time for all the gamblers to get their money up. The man who bets with the thrower is said to "like him." As the game progresses you can hear the thrower as he first tosses the dice exclaim, "Come seven-eleven!" If he fails either to win or crap out he will then cry, as he tries to make his point: "Come to see me, Little Joe or Big Dick or Liz," or whatever his point may be. The man who has faded him or who is betting against him on the outside will say: "Cut him off, seven!" "Cut his throat, seven!" "Come under him, seven!" When Liz--that is nine ("Liz" is not in the RHHDAS--ed.)--is first thrown, the player always exclaims: "Liz is the gal for me." The words which accompany Jimmy Hicks, a throw of six, are: "Big Six, take my gal to Memphis." A smooth place on the ground is always preferable to the floor of a room. A table is entirely out of the question. Many times a gang of negro gamblers will play on the sidewalk under the glare of an electric light, and boys are stationed in the middle of each block to keep a watch for the approach of a policeman and to give a signal if one is seen coming. The game is played by the old and the young, in the country and in the cities, by railroad hands and deck hands on the river steamboats. Negroes in the large cities know scarcely any other sort of gambling. The steamboat hands play night and day and they have been known to return after a long trip with every cent of their earnings gone into the pockets of the lucky players. Here in Atlanta there are all sorts of crap shooters, including the big gamblers and the small boys, who will shoot for anything of value, often the clothes on their backs. Hardly a week passes without some place, usually an alley, being raided and a lot of the "crap shooters" arrested. But the gambling cannot be broken up. Craps has come among the Southern darkies of a sporty nature to stay, and as long as they can get hold of a pair of dice, and have the coin, they will woo the goddess of fortune, with prayers for the lucky seven-eleven.