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#117281 - 12/07/03 10:19 PM "the ton"?
Alex Williams Offline
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Reading a recent issue of the British auto magazine "Evo," I came across two uses of "ton" that I understood from context to mean 100, or more specifically 100 miles per hour. I don't have the magazine handy, but it said something like "...the car took 5.2 seconds to reach 60 mph and 10.5 seconds to reach the ton." Another article used the word in a similar manner. What is the source or etymology of this use of "ton"? Is it merely idiomatic?


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#117282 - 12/08/03 05:36 AM Re: "the ton"?
dodyskin Offline
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Loc: manchester uk

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#117283 - 12/08/03 07:06 AM Re: "the ton"?
Capfka Offline
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The Ton, as in 100mph, was almost certainly a straight "steal" from its meaning as 100. It isn't applied to 100kph, however!


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#117284 - 12/08/03 09:02 AM Re: "the ton"?
Jackie Offline
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From Quinion, italics mine: to do a ton is to achieve a speed of 100 miles per hour and in darts or cricket a ton is a score of 100. This is familiar enough not to seem an odd usage HA--sez who? It sure sounds strange to me. Oh, now I see--the heading says he writes from a British viewpoint. Ok, since he put the disclaimer, I reckon I'll have to go 'long...


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#117285 - 12/08/03 12:41 PM Re: "the ton"?
Capfka Offline
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I can't comment on darts, but I would find it strange to hear a cricket score of 100 runs referred to as "the ton", althought I would certainly understand it.


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#117286 - 12/08/03 01:28 PM Re: "the ton"?
sjmaxq Offline
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Registered: 07/20/03
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In reply to:

I would find it strange to hear a cricket score of 100 runs referred to as "the ton", althought I would certainly understand it.



Really? I hear it a lot, along with a half-ton. Semi-literate Kiwi commentators, I guess.

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#117287 - 12/08/03 01:37 PM Re: "the ton"?
Faldage Offline
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I dunno. Just sounds like it's off by an order of magnitude.


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#117288 - 12/08/03 03:13 PM Re: "the ton"?
Capfka Offline
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No, there are a number of ways in which the batsman could wind up off the field, but it's usually by order of the umpire, not magnitude. Just thought I'd mention that.


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#117289 - 12/08/03 03:17 PM Re: "the ton"?
Faldage Offline
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Thanks, Pfranz. You just don't know how much I appreciate that bit of cricketiana.


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#117290 - 12/08/03 03:31 PM Re: "the ton"?
Capfka Offline
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Glad I could bowl you over ...


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#117291 - 12/08/03 03:36 PM Re: "the ton"?
Faldage Offline
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Well, I ain' no maiden.


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#117292 - 12/08/03 03:37 PM Re: "the ton"?
Capfka Offline
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No, but you are on a sticky wicket!


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#117293 - 12/08/03 03:41 PM Re: "the ton"?
Faldage Offline
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Nuh-unh. Wickets round here are all perty dang slippery right about now.


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#117294 - 12/08/03 03:42 PM Re: "the ton"?
Capfka Offline
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Well, then you better watch your footing. You could be stumped!


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#117295 - 12/09/03 04:57 AM Re: "the ton"?
dxb Offline
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Registered: 03/06/02
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You two crease me up!

Edit: Oh, seems I just changed status.


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#117296 - 12/09/03 05:14 AM an aside
AnnaStrophic Offline
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a. Thanks to Capfka, I know what crease ... up means (btw, don't encourage them! )

2. 'Bout damn time, veteran .


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#117297 - 12/09/03 10:08 AM Re: "the ton"?
shanks Offline
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Registered: 03/16/00
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Loc: London, UK

Wickets round here are all perty dang slippery right about now.

So are your balls skidding around on the ground?


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#117298 - 12/09/03 11:45 AM Re: "the ton"?
wow Offline
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Am I the only one around here who has read Regency novels?
Wherein it is pronounced with a long O not as in ton/weight. In said Regency novels "ton" is used in reference to the upper class in society - every young girl's ambition to be accepted by the "ton" and invited to all the right parties and perhaps find a husband. At best to fall in love with said man or at least like him but in any case to make "a good marriage."
Gawd but I have wasted some time in my days!
On the other hand they were enjoyable escapes for a few hours.


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#117299 - 12/09/03 11:48 AM Re: "the ton"?
Faldage Offline
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That's a whole nother word, wow. Like in Bon Ton


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#117300 - 12/09/03 11:51 AM Re: "the ton"?
shanks Offline
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Registered: 03/16/00
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Loc: London, UK
Might be a whole nother word, but thanks to WOW for reminding me of Georgette Heyer. Not a waste of time at all - simply a cross between Jane Austen and pulp fiction. Perfect.


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#117301 - 12/09/03 11:54 AM Re: "the ton"?
Capfka Offline
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I've just been reading a biography of her. Strange lady, but when she put her mind to it, she could write!


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#117302 - 12/10/03 09:23 AM Re: "the ton"?
Jackie Offline
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the upper class in society This is what tony refers to, right? How did it come to be?


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#117303 - 12/10/03 09:39 AM Re: "the ton"?
RhubarbCommando Offline
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Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 2204
Directly from the French, jackie. So far as I can remember (without LgIU) "ton" is french for "tone" - as in the "Bon Ton" mentioned above.


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#117304 - 12/10/03 05:49 PM Re: "the ton"?
Capfka Offline
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Yup, the fashion-conscious male section of the English upper classes was called "the Ton" during the Regency period. People were said to have "good ton" if they were regarded as fashionable and had lots of money and good manners. The two main "styles" were the corinthian - sporty guys with "sober" but very expensive dress - and the dandies, who wore extreme clothes and looked like coxcombs. The Prince Regent tended towards dandyism. Overall, the upper class was called the Upper 10000 (or something like that).


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#117305 - 12/10/03 09:38 PM Re: "the ton"?
Faldage Offline
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the upper class was called the Upper 10000 (or something like that).

There you go again, with the orders of magnitude.


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#117306 - 12/12/03 07:18 AM Re: "the ton"?
Jackie Offline
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No no, Faldage, that was tsuwm.


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#117307 - 12/12/03 11:32 AM Re: "the ton"?
Capfka Offline
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Orders of magnitude? No, but I'll have it with an order of fries. French here, freedom(!!!!!!) there.


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#117308 - 12/13/03 11:19 AM Re: "the ton"?
wow Offline
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Registered: 11/25/00
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Thank you shanks! Yup! It's Heyer for me! She wrote one about a gal brought up by her father in Africa and very much a liberated woman....wish I could remember the name it was a nifty story.
I heard that some Brit historians had tried to find errors in Heyer stories and came to the conclusion she either had done amazing research, had a stock of newspapers from the Regency era or was very old!
While we are at it -- what were the "macaroni?" as in
"Put a feather in his hat and called it Macaroni? fromYankee Doodle Dandy.


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#117309 - 12/13/03 12:52 PM Re: Untangling the Macaroni?
Capfka Offline
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Wow, here's a link that explains it very well:

http://www.jolique.com/social_status/yankee_doodle.htm

As for Georgette Heyer, she was famous for her Regency romances, but they were really just "pot-boilers" for her, bringing in the dosh while she researched her historical novels. The best of these are:

The Conqueror, which gives a rather different perspective on William I,
An Infamous Army, a romantic novel set in the run up to Waterloo (but don't let that put you off; it's regarded as one of the best accounts of both the politics leading up to Waterloo and of the battle itself. The bibliography is wa-hey impressive!);
The Spanish Bride, based on a true event during the Peninsular Wars (and which first kindled my interest in them)
Royal Escape, a fictionalised account of Charles II's escape from the roundheads; and her tour-de-force
My Lord John, which she was still writing when she died. Her son finished the book (very well, I might add) and it was published posthumously. MLJ is the story of Henry V's childhood.

I've always been partial to her Regency novels meownself because they are usually beautifully written and accurately reflect the life and times of the upper and upper middle class at that period.

If you want to dip into Heyer but aren't sure about it, buy Pistols for Two, which is a collection of her short Regency stories!


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#117310 - 12/14/03 11:14 AM Re: "pot-boilers"
Jackie Offline
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Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
I get the meaning from your context, CK, I think, but how did this term come into use? I think there's a similar expression used here, but can't recall what it is.


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#117311 - 12/14/03 11:28 AM Re: Untangling the Macaroni?
wow Offline
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Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Ahhh, so Macaroni was Frencified form of dandyism and the use of Macaroni "style" by colonists was a yokel attempt to be fashionable
Now in the article the author says :
The entire Yankee Doodle lyric, one of America's most beloved patriotic songs, is a joke at the expense of the Colonists.
So it seems to me that the Yankee Doddle Song, written to ridicule the American colonists was adopted by them and made their own.
Nice trick! Make it your own and take the sting out of it.


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#117312 - 12/14/03 11:42 PM Re: "pot-boilers"
Bingley Offline
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Quinion seems to think it originated over your side of the pond: http://www.quinion.com/words/qa/qa-pot1.htm

Bingley
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#117313 - 12/15/03 07:22 AM Hitting a "ton"
grapho Offline
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Registered: 11/09/03
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What is the source or etymology of this use of "ton"? Is it merely idiomatic?

Here in North America, "ton" is used to describe a massive hit in baseball, usually a home run traveling in the range of 500 feet.

Here's a typical example quoted in a column in the Miami Herald a couple of months ago:

"Sammy Sosa hit a home run that traveled an estimated 495 feet but surely will be upgraded beyond 500 feet, maybe even a mile or two, in the years to come. ''I thought it went out of the whole park,'' Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. ''He hit that ball a ton.'' Said Sosa: ``That was the right moment to hit that ball.''

Complete article:
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/columnists/jeff_miller/6967650.htm




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#117314 - 12/15/03 08:12 AM Re: "pot-boilers"
Capfka Offline
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Hard to say - just because it only appeared in the OED a little later doesn't mean to say that it wasn't around prior to that.

I've always understood it to mean "something done to fund something more interesting and possibly superior but which will take longer to complete" which doesn't entirely disagree with the COD's definition or Quinion's explanation.

I've never considered whether it was an Americanism or not. Given that it appeared to emerge during the mid-19th century, the chances are that while it obviously was coined on one side of the pond or the other, it may have become common on both sides fairly quickly, given the literary interchange between the two countries about that time.

Interesting, though, that Quinion's quote talks about paintings, where I had only ever heard it used in relation to literature.

Well, as they say, you live and you learn!


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#117315 - 12/15/03 10:33 PM Re: "the ton"?
stales Offline
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Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 866
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
FWIW - 100 degrees Fahrenheit used to be referred to as "the ton" before we in Oz went metric. Hence when the weather was hot one said, "It's going to hit the ton today".

Nowadays, 38 degrees C is often referred to by those of us that dwell in the past as being "the old ton".

In cricketing circles, when not using the more correct form of "a century" in reference to 100 runs, one may hear that such and such a batsman "hit (or got) a ton". Never "the" ton.

stales


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#117316 - 12/15/03 10:57 PM What goes around ...
grapho Offline
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Registered: 11/09/03
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I've never considered whether it was an Americanism or not.

On the other hand, Americans never considered whether it was a Euroism or not.

Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. ''He hit that ball a ton.''.

What goes around [the pond], comes around [the pond]. :)

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