To Ponder. . .
Back in woodshed times, American boys itching for a fight sometimes announced this fact by placing a chip on their shoulder,then daring someone to knock it off. Although fastidious contemporary ears like to think this was a sliver of wood, the chip in question
was more likely to be dried cow dung. Hard as it is to picture any boy putting a piece of excrement on the shoulder of his Abercrombie & Fitch shirt, having a chip on your shoulder still suggests touchy belligerence.
Carnivals and circuses alike featured secondary events off to one side, usually in tents. At these sideshows one might find patent medicine being hawked, or bearded ladies to gawk at, or—most exciting of all—cooch dancers, undulating women in filmy harem outfits whom we acknowledge when using the term hoochie coochie for a wide range of risqué
activity. Although what went on at sideshows was sometimes more exciting than what took place at the main event, today, sideshow suggests an activity of lesser magnitude.
Ralph Keyes writing in …I Love It When You Talk Retro.
To Read. . .
This delightful little compendium is the perfect read for all of us who
tend to say “I remember when” too much. Filled with close to a thou-
sand “retro terms,” this is a handy book to help settle disputes or sim-
ply relieve your curiosity about where “that” term came from.
Don’t be a doofus. Buy this book.I Love It When You Talk Retro:
Hoochie Coochie, Double
Whammy, Drop a Dime and the
Forgotten Origins of American
Speech. Ralph Keyes.
– Robert W. Wendover