Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 02:10:44 EST From: Bapopik Subject: Cheap at half the price; Sell bridges in Sahara; Weasels; Craps, World Champs CHEAP AT HALF THE PRICE When you're Christmas shopping, you may be looking for something that's "cheap at half the price." I didn't find this in AMERICAN PROVERBS. Partridge has it to 1920, but states it may go back to the 1890s. I got this while cleaning my files and don't know if it's an antedate. It's from the San Francisco Chronicle, 28 February 1904, "BILLY BOUNCE TAKES THE BUNCH TO THEIR ANNUAL CLEANING." After the cleaning, Billy Bounce says, "Much o'bliged! It's cheap at half the price." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------- SELL BRIDGES IN THE SAHARA DESERT No, this isn't from a Hollywood agent saying, "ENGLISH PATIENT? You want Jeff Bridges! Sure, babe, you can sell Bridges in the Sahara Desert!" Perhaps it's a variant of "selling the Brooklyn Bridge," or "selling like hotcakes." After "sell bridges in the Sahara Desert" came "sell ice to Eskimos." Like the above, I couldn't find many citations, and found this one in my files. The H. C. Fisher "Mutt and Jeff" cartoon for 27 May 1922 (many newspapers, but this copy is from the Cleveland Plain Dealer) is titled "Jeff Could Sell Bridges in the Sahara Desert." I came back from the Sahara Desert recently. It could use bridges. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------- WEASELS This should have been part of the "lizards" and "elephants" posting. Theodore Roosevelt used the phrase "weasel words" in the 1920s, and the DA has this phrase from 1900. I noticed an article in the New York Sun, 19 November 1870, pg. 2, col. 5, titled "A POLITICAL WEASEL." The story involves political campaign financing, and the subhead is, "The Smartest Politician in the State--Gen. John H. Ketcham's Great Victory--How he Went for $15,000 and Got it--How he Spent the Money." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------- "CRAPS" CORRECTION The 12 June 1886 Cincinnati Enquirer article was copied correctly, but I just noticed that I also have the original in my files. It's from the Chicago Tribune, 6 June 1886, pg. 13, col. 2. The Enquirer article mistakenly contained no attribution; I found both articles independently. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------- WORLD CHAMPIONS (BASEBALL) The "World Series" in baseball always confused me, because only North American teams were involved. The Little League World Series was always won by Taiwan! Paul Dickson is doing a revised BASEBALL DICTIONARY and I have to send stuff. On page 424, it's stated that "1st 1884. First 'World's Championship Series' held in New York, according to research conducted by the National Baseball Library. Edward J. Nichols finds the term World Series in the 1887 _Spalding Official Base Ball Guide_." I found this today in the New York Sun, 21 June 1871: CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD. --------------------------------------------- THE GREATEST GAME OF BASE BALL EVER PLAYED. --------------------------------------------- A Most Exciting Game--Brilliant Batting and fine Pitching--The Mutuals once were Victorious--Score. 8 to 6--Philadel- phia in Tears--The Athletics Defeated.