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#116366 - 11/21/03 10:59 PM Ragtime Cowboy Joe  
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In the original words, written in 1912 by Grant Clarke, one learns that Ragtime Cowboy Joe is "a high-faluting, scooting, shooting son-of-a-gun from Arizona."

Later versions have it that he is "a hifalootin', scootin’, shootin’ Son-of-a-gun from Arizona" while still later versions make him a "high falootin' rootin' tootin' Son-of-a-gun from Arizona."

Whether he is high-faluting, hifalootin' or high falootin', one wonders to what he is up? This appears to be a gerund derived from the verb "to falute" or "to faloot." What, pray tell, might this mean?

Padre

What made him "scoot" is an issue for another day. And perhaps why he quit scooting and started rooting.



#116367 - 11/21/03 11:33 PM Re: Ragtime Cowboy Joe  
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Word-Detective.com says origin of "high falutin" is not known. Sob,sob.


#116368 - 11/21/03 11:43 PM Re: Ragtime Cowboy Joe  
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it's one word! http://afen.onelook.com/?w=highfalutin&last=high_falutin&loc=spell1

Anu had this to say:
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--highfalutin
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 1994 00:03:10 -0400 (EDT)
X-Bonus: Defeat is worse than death because you have to live with defeat.
high.fa.lu.tin \.hi_--f*-'lu_:t- *n\ adj : PRETENTIOUS, POMPOUS


and from M-W:
Main Entry: high·fa·lu·tin
Pronunciation: "hI-f&-'lü-t&n
Function: adjective
Etymology: perhaps from 2high + alteration of fluting, present participle of flute
Date: 1839
1 : PRETENTIOUS
2 : expressed in or marked by the use of high-flown bombastic language : POMPOUS


fun!



formerly known as etaoin...
#116369 - 11/22/03 12:11 AM Re: Ragtime Cowboy Joe  
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origin of "high falutin" is not known

It HADDA come from somewhere, or nobody in 1912 wudda knowed what it meant.



#116370 - 11/22/03 12:29 AM Re: Ragtime Cowboy Joe  
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oiks! I guess all my colorful business really didn't answer no question, did it?



formerly known as etaoin...
#116371 - 11/22/03 01:02 AM Re: Ragtime Cowboy Joe  
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This appears to be a gerund derived from the verb "to falute" or "to faloot."

Gerund? Looks like a participle to me.


#116372 - 11/22/03 02:18 AM Re: Ragtime Cowboy Joe  
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I went to Google, hit I'm Feeling Lucky, and got:
5 entries found for hifalutin.
hi·fa·lu·tin ( P ) Pronunciation Key (hf-ltn)
adj. Informal
Variant of highfalutin.
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

high·fa·lu·tin or hi·fa·lu·tin ( P ) Pronunciation Key (hf-ltn) also high·fa·lu·ting (-ltn, -ltng)
adj. Informal
Pompous or pretentious: “highfalutin reasons for denying direct federal assistance to the unemployed” (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.).

[Origin unknown.]
Regional Note: H.L. Mencken, in his famous book The American Language, mentions highfalutin as an example of the many native U.S. words coined during the 19th-century period of vigorous growth. Although highfalutin is characteristic of American folk speech, it is not a true regionalism because it has always occurred in all regions of the country, with its use and popularity spurred by its appearance in print. The origin of highfalutin, like that of many folk expressions, is obscure. It has been suggested that the second element, -falutin, comes from the verb flutehence high-fluting, a comical indictment of people who think too highly of themselves.
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

hifalutin
\Hi`fa*lu"tin\, n. See Highfaluting.
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

hifalutin
Highfaluting \High`fa*lu"ting\, n. [Perh. a corruption of highflighting.] High-flown, bombastic language. [Written also hifalutin.] [Jocular, U. S.] --Lowell.
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

hifalutin
adj : affectedly genteel [syn: grandiose, highfalutin, highfaluting, hoity-toity, la-di-da]
Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University




#116373 - 11/22/03 02:33 AM Re: Ragtime Cowboy Joe  
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From word detective:
Dear Word Detective: I once heard that "highfalutin" originated from a fancy variety of flour which produced a richer baked product, or perhaps from an ingredient in certain flours, but I have been having trouble finding this information in any reference sources. Do you have any information? -- Tom Wiggin, via the internet.

I don't want to sound paranoid, but you didn't happen to pick up that theory from Martha Stewart, did you? It's not that I have anything against Ms. Stewart, you understand. If I awoke some morning with an inexplicable compulsion to festoon my dog's water bowl with colorful handmade silk butterflies, I would definitely seek Martha's guidance. It's just that, on several occasions over the last few years, readers have cited her TV show as the source of some very colorful, but seriously whacked, stories about word origins.

In fairness to Martha Stewart, I should note that most of these stories seem to come from her "expert" guests, not Martha herself, which makes sense. People have a natural inclination to interpret the world in terms of what they know best. A few years ago, for instance, one of Martha's guests, a potter, blithely declared that the phrase "in fine fettle" came from pottery-making. (It doesn't, although the word "fettle" does have a technical meaning in the craft.) So it's not surprising that a baker, perhaps, might come up with a theory explaining "highfalutin" (meaning "pompous or absurdly pretentious") as originally coming from a technical reference to a certain kind of baking ingredient.

That doesn't mean the theory is correct, of course, which it isn't. The origin of "highfalutin" (or the variant "highfaluting") is not known for certain, but chances are good that it began as a corruption of "high-flying" or "high-flown," meaning pretentiously affluent (or, as New Yorkers say, "hoity-toity"). Americans have always had a healthy disrespect for wealth and power and the arrogant attitudes they spawn, and "highfalutin" appeared in the mid-1800's, the creative heyday of dissing the rich. Along with "highfalutin," the rich (or wannabe-rich) of the era were accused of "putting on airs," being "on a high horse," being "high-toned," "stuck up," "uppity" and "stuffed shirts."

Note: Since this column was first posted on the web, I have received several comments from helpful readers pointing out that the basis of the erroneous "flour" story of "highfaluting" mentioned above was probably a confusion of "highfalutin'" with "high gluten" flour, which does indeed produce a better grade of bread.

http://www.word-detective.com/052699.html


#116374 - 11/22/03 04:22 AM Re: Ragtime Cowboy Joe  
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Looks like a participle to me.

A gerund IS a present participle, or at least it was about a hundred years ago when I was in grammar school.


#116375 - 11/22/03 12:58 PM Re: Ragtime Cowboy Joe  
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A gerund IS a present participle

Hoo, boy! Don' tell Dub Dub'.


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