Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 04:59:24 EST From: Bapopik Subject: Ringer; Deuces take 'em RINGER The DA has "ringer" from 1890, meaning "one who enters a contest under false pretenses by keeping secret his identity and past performances." This is from SPORTING LIFE, 28 April 1886, pg. 1, col. 2: Theatrical Base Ballists. On Thursday last the Walnut Street Theatre base ball nine, composed of attaches of the theatre, sat rather heavily upon the McCaull Opera House team, the latter thereby losing the set-out the gallant Colonel had promised them in the event of victory. (...) The feature of the game was the battery work of Wisner and Riley. The Temple Theatre is anxious to try the mettle of manager Fleishman's boys, and a game will probably be arranged. Look out for "ringers" from the _Record_ office. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------- DEUCES TAKE 'EM This was a law professor's favorite phrase. "And then you serve him with a subpoena duces tecum," which he'd always follow with "I thought aces take 'em." The deuce is the lowest card in nearly all card games. "Deuce" is also slang for "devil," but I didn't see this in the RHHDAS. New York's 42nd Street used to be called "The Deuce." Young girls were warned to stay away, because deuces take 'em. This is from SPORTING LIFE, 28 April 1886, pg. 1, col. 1: ...but for the "left-handed phenomenon"--the deuce take him--would have come off easy winners. Paul Dickson's BASEBALL DICTIONARY has "phenom" from 1890, but "phenomenon" and "phenom" are all over 1886, especially for the pitcher "Phenomenal" Smith. "Left-handed phenomenon" is interesting; "south-paw" was also used often in 1886. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------- Maybe one day I can have two nights in Oneonta. :-)