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#56634 02/14/02 08:32 PM
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Or self-propelled.


#56635 02/18/02 02:39 PM
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Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, you
sockdologising old man-trap."

Booth fired his gun at that precise moment to muffle the
loud noise of his shot with the guffaws from the audience,
and quietly escaped. ]

I remember reading that Booth jumped from the presidential box down to the stage, landing badly so that he broke an ankle, but managed to get out the back door.


#56636 02/18/02 04:47 PM
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I remember reading that Booth jumped from the presidential box down to the stage, landing badly so that he broke an ankle, but managed to get out the back door.

As a recall, the who treated Booth's ankle, was probably unaware of his patient's identity, but was nonetheless tried and convicted as a co-conspirator in the assassination. His name was Dr. Mudd, and I recall hearing that this is the source of the phrase "his name is mud".

Sounds suspiciously like an urban legand, but it will be easy enough to LIU this evening.


#56637 02/18/02 11:09 PM
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http://www.historybuff.com/library/refmummy.html

Click on the link beneath the picture for the story.


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from http://www.word-detective.com/100297.html:

Mud on the superhighway.

Dear Word Detective: I've searched the entire World Wide Web looking for the origin of the
phrase "Your name will be mud." I think it might have come from the name of the doctor who
treated John Wilkes Booth (Dr. Mudd, I presume). -- Jerry McFadyen, via the Internet.

Searched the whole web, eh? Well, by now I'm sure that you've come to the same conclusion
that I reached a while back, namely that if you're looking for solid, useful information on the
Internet, you're barking up the wrong medium. There are exceptions, to be sure, but in
general trying to do serious research on the web is akin to asking a housecat for help with
your homework. Someone needs to explain this to Al Gore.

Thank heavens for books, therefore, especially ones such as "Devious Derivations," written
by Hugh Rawson and published by Crown. Mr Rawson devotes an entire page in his book to
the theory you have evidently heard: that the phrase "Your name will be mud" is connected
somehow to the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd who treated President Abraham Lincoln's assassin,
John Wilkes Booth. Doctor Mudd may or may not have been in on the 1865 assassination
conspiracy with Booth, who had broken his leg escaping from the scene of his crime. In any
case, Mudd was convicted of conspiracy in the trial that followed, and his name, to the
general public, certainly became "mud" in the sense of the phrase -- despised and reviled.

But Doctor Mudd's name is certainly no more than an interesting coincidence, for it cannot
have been the source of the phrase. "Mud" had already been in use for more than 200 years,
since at least 1708, as a slang term for a fool. According to Christine Ammer, in her book
"Have A Nice Day -- No Problem!" (a very fine dictionary of cliches published by Plume),
"mud" was commonly applied in the 19th century British Parliament to any member who lost
an election or otherwise disgraced himself.


The Phrase Finder also validates this:
http://phrases.shu.ac.uk/meanings/424000.html




#56639 02/19/02 04:04 PM
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President Harding is credited with coining "bloviate". I know of another word he is apparently erroneously credited with having coined. Can you remember it?

http://www.thirdlion.com/ATM23.html You have to scroll down a ways.


#56640 02/19/02 06:53 PM
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H.L. Mencken said of W.G. Harding: "He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash."


#56641 02/19/02 08:14 PM
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Dear tsuwm: I wonder what Curmudgeon Mencken would have said about that paragraph if someone else had written it. It seems to have a bit of overkill.


#56642 02/19/02 08:29 PM
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>that paragraph

I thought he was just speaking generally.


#56643 02/19/02 08:34 PM
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True, dr. bill, but Mencken was not noted for underkill. And there is a time-honored tradition of lampooning presidential speech. (Wonder how many of our USn's are old enough to recall Vaughn Meeder's First Family album?)


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