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By D. G. G.


In glancing over the athletic page of the morning paper, my eye stuck on the statement: "The Duke swished the agate into the draperies for the winning count." Is there any need to go on with your campaign for the emancipation of the language, as long as the reporters carry on the fight so gallantly under the existing catch-as-catch-can rules? COL. BYGAD

We hate to cap the Colonel's comments but we ran across an interesting item ourselves the other morning under the head of "Notes from the Training Camps":

"The Babe is swinging the bats again. He never was a chicken on the fly, but now he is socking the bill on the nose for a row of stone ranchos."

This somewhat ambiguous statement becomes much clearer when referred to the pages of "THE SLANG DICTIONARY; OR, THE VULGAR WORDS, STREET PHRASES, AND "FAST" EXPRESSIONS OF HIGH AND LOW SOCIETY--LONDON: 1867. Here then is the explanation:

BABE, the lowest order of KNOCKOUTS who are prevailed upon not to give opposing biddings at auctions, in consideration for a small sum and a certain quantity of beer. BABES exist in Baltimore, U. S., where they are known as blackguards and "rowdies".

SWINGING, to be hanged; "if you don't accede to my desires, I'll SWING for you," i. e., take your life a common threat in low neighborhoods.

BATS, a pair of bad boots.

CHICKEN, a term applied to anything young, small, or insignificant.

"ON THE FLY", getting one's living by thieving or other illegitimate means.

SOCKING, the Eton College term for a treat, synonymous with CHUCK at Westminster and other schools. Believed to be derived from the monkish word SOKE. An old writer speaks of a pious man "who did not SOKE for three days", meaning he fasted.

PILL, a doctor. PILL-DRIVER, a peddling apothecary.

ON THE NOSE, on the watch or lookout.

ROW, a noisy disturbance, tumult, or trouble. Originally Cambridge, now universal. Seventy years ago it was written ROUE which would indicate a French origin, a profligate or disturber of the peace.

RANCHO, originally a Spanish-American word, signifying a hunting lodge, or cattle-station, in a wood or desert far from the haunts of man. In Washington, with their accustomed ingenuity in corrupting words and meanings, the Americans use the appellation for a place of evil report.

It is gratifying to note that after May third, seniors at Yale may own and drive motorcars. It is the existence of privileges like this, and the hoop-rolling at Wellesley, and the right of unsocking all brown-socked, freshman sons of old Nassau, which make the splendid traditions of our colleges what they are today.

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