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#120413 - 01/19/04 09:15 AM Re: Old words  
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dxb Offline
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Jackie, you asked about the origin of 'gammon' in the sense of 'deceiving'. I have never heard, and cannot find anything about the origins of this but it occurs to me to wonder if it relates to the secret language of the Irish tinkers, Shelta, which was also called 'Gammon'. Since Shelta did serve the same purpose as cockney rhyming slang - in other words a kind of thieves' argot.

Here is a link to the subject:

http://www.christusrex.org/www1/pater/JPN-shelta.html


#120414 - 01/19/04 12:41 PM Re: Old words  
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and backgammon? game?
I suppose I should be looking this up...



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#120415 - 01/19/04 01:01 PM Re: Old words  
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OED2 has this as one of 8 (!) disparate entries for gammon:

slang or colloq.


1. Thieves' slang. In phrases to give gammon (see quot. 1720). to keep in gammon: to engage (a person's) attention while a confederate is robbing him.
1720 A. Smith Hist. Highwaymen III. 358 Give me Gammon. That is, to side, shoulder, or stand close to a Man, or a Woman, whilst another picks his, or her Pocket. 1821 D. Haggart Life 51 Going out at the door, Bagrie called the woman of the house, kept her in gammon in the back~room, while I returned and brought off the till. Ibid. 68, I whidded to the Doctor, and he gave me gammon.

2. Talk, chatter. Usually gammon and patter.
1781 G. Parker View Soc. I. 208, I thought myself pretty much a master of Gammon, but the Billingsgate eloquence of Mrs. PI not only exceeded me, but outdid all that I had ever known eloquent in that way. 1789 I Life's Painter (ed. 2) 186 Gammon and Patter, Jaw talk, etc. 1796 Grose's Dict. Vulgar Tongue, Gamon and Patter, commonplace talk of any profession; as the gamon and patter of a horse-dealer, sailor, etc.

3. Ridiculous nonsense suited to deceive simple persons only; ‘humbug’, ‘rubbish’.
1805 T. Harral Scenes of Life III. 105 ‘Come, come, none of your gammon!’ cried one, ‘tell us where the other black sheep is’. 1811 Lex. Balatron. s.v., What rum gamon the old file pitched to the flat. 1811 J. Poole Ham. Travestie 30 Come, that won't do, my lord;—now that's all gammon. 1837 Dickens Pickw. xxiv, Some people maintains that an Englishman's house is his castle. That's gammon. 1845 Disraeli Sybil (Rtldg.) 285 Morley has got round them, preaching moral force, and all that sort of gammon. 1870 H. Smart Race for Wife x, Come, old fellow, no gammon.

b. quasi-int. Humbug! Fudge!
1827 R. B. Peake Comfort. Lodg. i. iii, Sir H. (Aside) Gammon! 1855 Thackeray Rose & Ring xv, ‘Gammon!’ exclaimed his Lordship. 1885 F. A. Guthrie Tinted Venus 4 ‘Gammon!’ said Jauncey, ‘that isn't it’.



#120416 - 01/19/04 01:02 PM Re: Old words  
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and yes, eta, it has the previous entry:

1. The game of backgammon. Now rare.
1730–46 Thomson Autumn 528 Or the quick dice, In thunder leaping from the box, awake The sounding gammon. a1734 North Lives (1826) I. 17 Whatever games were stirring, at places where he retired, as gammon, gleek, piquet, or even the merry main, he made one. 1800 E. Hervey Mourtray Fam. III. 81 Mr. Chowles was above, playing at gammon with mistress. 1826 J. Wilson Noct. Ambr. Wks. 1855 I. 124 The tailor at Yarrow ford dang ye all to bits baith at gammon and the dambrod.

2. A term at backgammon, denoting a degree of victory which scores equal to two ‘hits’ or ‘games’ (see quots. 1844, 1868).
1735 Dyche & Pardon, Gammon+a Term in a Play called Back Gammon. 1778 C. Jones Hoyle's Games Impr. 165 Six and Five, a Man to be carried from your Adversary's Ace Point, as far as he can go, for a Gammon or for a Hit. 1800 Gentl. Mag. I. 163 And by quick taking off, a gammon win. 1844 Backgammon 47 If one combatant have not removed his first man before the other has removed his last, ‘a gammon’ is lost and won, which is equivalent to two games. 1868 Boy's Own Bk. 590 If you can bear all your men away before your adversary has borne off one man, you win the gammon+But if your adversary is able to bear one of his men, before you have borne all yours, then your victory is reduced to a hit.

3. Comb., as gammon-board, -player.
1814 Monthly Mag. XXXVII. 47 It may be inferred that he too was a gammon-player. 1851 ‘Nimrod’ The Road 17 You'll have the gammon-board all to yourself.


#120417 - 01/19/04 02:11 PM Re: Old words  
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"Do have done" and "Have done, do" Oh, thank you! No help from context on dentical, though: the servant had answered the door, and described the caller thus.

And thanks, all of you. Bingley, there was in fact a remark elsewhere in the book about what time supper would be served, since they did not keep the new, fashionable Town hours.

Dr. Bill, thanks for the squabs def.--I knew she couldn't have been leaning back against birds, which is the only def. I knew!

So--gammon, in that sense, was rhyming slang--or did I miss something? So, then, why is gammon another word for ham?


#120418 - 01/19/04 02:14 PM Re: Old words  
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thanks, mav.

ham
and Jackie, it's slang and it rhymes.



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#120419 - 01/19/04 02:18 PM Re: Old words  
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I have this feeling that gam(m)on is an old root somewhere out there for "ham." Look at the French word, for example.


#120420 - 01/19/04 02:19 PM Re: Oink  
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well, pigs do like to root about...



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#120421 - 01/19/04 02:21 PM Re: Old words  
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The game of backgammon

And the game on the other side of the board, often, and incorrectly, known as checkers or draughts, is properly known as frontgammon.


#120422 - 01/19/04 03:06 PM Re: Old words  
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properly known as frontgammon Faldage, are you pulling my gammon?




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