On names, changing them, and pronunciation

deborah deborah at suberic.net
Wed Mar 5 09:57:11 EST 2003


On Wed, 5 Mar 2003, johanna wrote:

|> By the way, since my earlier email I looked up Black Maria in Brewer's
|> Phrase and Fable and it claims that it's actually an American (United
|> States of) expression anyway, originating in Boston (Mass, not Lincs).
|> So presumably it would be well known there.


I'm from greater Boston, and I knew the term -- but I'm not sure how I
did.  Dad from Greater Boston, Mum from London, so I don't know from
whom I picked it up.   And I knew the pronounciation because it's in
the book.


Coincidence and plug:  For the first time in ages, the rarely updated
Life of Bob journal ( http://www.livejournal.com/users/lifeofbob/ ) has
a new entry, with a pronunciation joke along the same lines.  (Life of
Bob is a joke amongst my friends.  When playing the dictionary game with
the aforementioned very-small-print OED, we have a tendency to make up
attributions for the first print use of the word, and we got in the
habit -- because so many of the OED's first attributions were from Life
of Johnson -- of attributing our fake quotations to Boswell's Life of
Bob.  And if you don't know how to play the dictionary game, you are
missing out on one of life's great joys.  All you need is a dictionary,
and some paper and pencils.  The Bodleian put out a book version called
Ex Libris, which is cute, but not as much fun.)

-deborah
deborah at suberic.net
--
Kiss my ass, I bought a boat, and I'm going out to sea.  -Lyle Lovett

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