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#76358 - 07/18/02 01:19 PM lobscouse - origin?
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
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Registered: 03/13/01
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Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
Another one of those originless puzzles? Something for the Dr. Bill Detective Agency! The earliest date I could find is 1706.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) :

Lobscouse \Lob"scouse`\, n. [Written also lobscourse from which
lobscouse is corrupted.] [Lob course.] (Naut.)
A combination of meat with vegetables, bread, etc., usually
stewed, sometimes baked; an olio.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 :

n : a stew of meat and vegetables and hardtack that is eaten by
sailors [syn: lobscuse, scouse]

from The American heritage Dictionary of the English language:


NOUN: A sailor's stew made of meat, vegetables, and hardtack.
ETYMOLOGY: Perhaps dialectal lob, to bubble scouse, of unknown origin.

#76359 - 07/18/02 01:33 PM Re: lobscouse - origin?
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Odd... no reference to Liverpudlians!

#76360 - 07/18/02 01:36 PM Re: lobscouse - origin?
tsuwm Offline
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thread submitted without comment (or, I think it speaks for itself ;)


#76361 - 07/18/02 01:43 PM Re: lobscouse - origin?
tsuwm Offline
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here's the earliest citation plus the one that lends credence to lobscourse:

1706 [E. WARD] Wooden World Diss. (1708) 83 He has sent the Fellow.. to the Devil,
that first invented Lobscouse. 1751 SMOLLETT Per. Pic. (1779) I. ix. 76 A mess of that
savoury composition known by the name of lob's course.

#76362 - 07/18/02 02:03 PM Re: lobscouse - origin?
wwh Offline
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Takeourword.com has entry connecting Liverpool with lobscouse. You have to scroll halfway down.

#76363 - 07/18/02 04:37 PM Re: lobscouse - origin?
RhubarbCommando Offline

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 2204
Go into any cafeteria in Norway and you'll find it on the menu. (At least, that used to be the case, some years ago!)

#76364 - 07/18/02 05:58 PM Re: lobscouse - origin?
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
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Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
This is from Dr. Bill's link:

Scouse. Even the O.E.D. says only "slang". I know you'll better that.

Us? Do better than the OED? Oh, the hubris! How could mere mortals such as we ever presume to improve upon that august arbiter of etymology? How? Like this...

We assume that by scouse you mean Liverpudlian, that is someone (or something) from Liverpool. Scouse is also a kind of stew, more properly known as lobscouse. This latter word is of obscure origin but is synonymous with loblolly. It is supposed that the lob part of the words is the same as the dialect word lob meaning "to bubble noisily while boiling" which was applied especially to porridge. The lolly in loblolly seems to be an obsolete Devonshire word for "broth, soup, or other food which is boiled in a pot". The earliest recorded use of scouse (the soup) may well be in "Two Years Before the Mast" by R. H. Dana (1840) - "The cook had just made for us a mess of hot scouse".

Lobscouse seems to have been popular with (or at least endured by) sailors and lobscouser was slang for a seaman. It is no surprise, therefore, that scouse should become associated with Liverpool, one of the world's busiest seaports. So, how long has scouse meant Liverpudlian? Well, slang words tend to have considerable currency before they are ever committed to print but the earliest use to come to our attention was in a 1945 court case when a judge interrupted testimony to ask the meaning of the words Geordie and scouse. He was informed that they referred to inhabitants of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Liverpool respectively.

#76365 - 07/19/02 06:47 AM Re: lobscouse - origin?
dxb Offline

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
A link to loblolly boys:



#76366 - 07/19/02 11:43 AM Re: lobscouse - origin?
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Whoa, dxb, neat article! Thank you! I had never heard loblolly in connection with anything but the pine trees. And, "lob" means boil? Ver' strange, to my ears.


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