Date: Fri, 15 Mar 1996 07:58:55 -0500
From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU
Subject: Re: "smathered"
Like Ron, I have known this expression since High School (Louisville area,
mid-1950's), although I have not seen in this discussion yet what I believe
to be the obvious etymological link (at least the one I have always given
it unquestioningly, if one can pretend to recall the folk etymologies of
For me the term was simply a euphemism for 'corn-hole,' a wide-spread label
for anal intercourse. To say one was 'corn-holed' (=cheated) simply
parallels general usage (in which any term for intercourse may be used to
equal 'cheat,' a practice so ubiquitous with 'screwed,' for example, that
the connection for many younger speakers now between the sexual sense and
the derived one appears to be lost). Notice that even metaphoric sexual
expresssions (e.g., 'reamed') readily transfer to the 'cheated' sense.
In my adolescent etymological innocence, I simply connected the verbal
'cob' under discussion here with the 'corn' of 'corn-hole.'
On Thu, 14 Mar 1996, David Robertson wrote:
And has anybody else heard the expression "cobbed", as for example
when my 62 - year - old dad says "Boy, when we took my brother to the
casino, we really got cobbed on that one!" It means 'royally screwed
over', I think, but evidently isn't considered obscene...
I'd forgotten all about this expression. We used it exactly that way when
I was iln college (U of Iowa, 1958-62). I recall it from highschool as
well. Did you check the Random House slang dictionary?
Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]pilot.msu.edu