SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS TO PLAYERS.

I ran across a link to this remarkable document some years ago and was charmed and amused, but figured it was probably a fake. But apparently it’s been authenticated by none other than Keith Olbermann, so as a lover of both baseball and filthy language I can’t resist passing it along. Here’s the introduction from Letters of Note, to set the scene:

This incredible memo, purportedly issued to all Major League Baseball teams in 1898 as part of a documented campaign — spearheaded by John Brush — to rid the sport of filthy language, was discovered in 2007 amongst the belongings of the late baseball historian Al Kermish, also a respected collector of memorabilia. Essentially an on-field code of conduct, most amusing is that the memo was in fact so expletive-laden and obscene as to be “unmailable” to its intended audience via the postal service, and so was delivered by hand to each of the League’s 12 clubs and their foul-mouthed players.

Warning: filthy language!
Addendum. I just discovered, while going through old posts for my tenth-anniversary compilations, that I wrote about this back in 2007. I grow old, I grow old…

Comments

  1. Bathrobe says:

    Well, it only goes to show that cunt-lapping and cock-sucking were as prevalent in those days as they seem to be now.

  2. Ought cunt-lapping to be hyphenated?

  3. Cock-sucker just looks wrong. It’s cocksucker. I don’t know about cuntlapper, though.

  4. Sorry to sound pushy. Do please write what you wish.

  5. “I’ll make you suck my ass!” is an odd one anyway, but in particular it raises the question of when Americans started saying “ass” instead of “arse”. OnlEtymDict says “in popular use since 1930”.

  6. The OED’s first hit for ass in this sense is a British and nautical one:
    1860 H. Stuart Seaman’s Catechism 37 The ass of the block is known by the scoring being deeper in that part to receive the splice.
    Now we know this ass is arse, because Nathan Bailey’s 1791 Dictionary says:
    Arse, (among sailors) the Arse of a Block or Pulley, through which any Rope runs, is the lower end of it.
    And we know H. Stuart is British because he was a gunner of H.M.S. Britannia and his book is marked on the title page “To be used in all Ships of His Majesty’s Navy”.

  7. Bathrobe says:

    When British people say ‘The law is an ass’, do they pronounce it ‘ass’ or ‘arse’ (keeping in mind that that ‘r’ is not pronounced anyway)?

  8. From the document:

    That such brutal language as “You cock-sucking son of a bitch!” … and many other revolting terms are used… upon the ball field, is vouched for by the almost unanimous assertion of those invited to speak, and who are competent to speak from personal knowledge.

    Unfortunate bit of sentence-construction there …
    Decades ago I introduced Muschilutscher [cunnilinguist] into the German language, as a disobliging counterpart to Schwanzlutscher. At least I thought I had at the time – the word probably already existed, as I found out later, but is rarely used in speech. Not surprisingly, given the nature of things, it never caught on as an all-purpose swear word.
    However, in that way it retained its force when used by me to derail homophobic heteros in polite conversation. Their numbers are declining now – although of course not in that part of the population with a Migrationshintergrund, as the currently fashionable euphemism has it. As always, they still have to do the jobs that most Germans would rather not do themselves anymore, in this case maintaining the proprieties of sexual tradition.

  9. Stephen says:

    Plus ça change! This is a timely post in light of the current court case involving former England football (soccer) Captain John Terry, accused of racially abusing a black opponent several months ago. Coverage has focused not just on the racial aspect of the alleged offence, but on the fact that foul language is “part and parcel” of the game. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/jul/10/john-terry-denies-snapped-affair-taunts

  10. “I’ll make you suck my ass!” is an odd one

    The earl of Drogheda found him ‘an immensely kind man, with many acts of generosity to his credit’ (Drogheda, 59–60): when Viscountess Castlerosse sat on a wasp, Chips sucked the sting out of her buttock.

    Oxford DNB entry for Sir Henry ‘Chips’ Channon (1897 – 1958)

  11. Electric Dragon says:

    Bathrobe: we pronounce it as “ass”, because it refers to the ‘donkey’ sense of the word: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/the-law-is-an-ass.html

  12. when Viscountess Castlerosse sat on a wasp, Chips sucked the sting out of her buttock.
    Thanks, I needed a good laugh!

  13. Also, god bless the DNB; not many reference works include that kind of detail.

  14. chris y says:

    In British usage, “ass” typically means a donkey or a person with the judgement of a donkey. However, in a more fastidious generation (my father’s), it was not uncommon to Bowdlerise “arse”, used as an insult, to “ass”, when describing a dispute in sensitive company. It crosses my mind that this practice might have led to the US usage. Is this known one way or another?

  15. J.W. Brewer says:

    I’m not sure I follow what you mean by “authenticated” (w/o even getting into comparative philological credentials of Geoff Nunberg v. Keith Olberman.) The “authenticating” evidence is a contemporaneous cite indicating an intention to crack down on “vile language” by ball-players. In light of that, the document in question could be: a) one of the actual official documents from management implementing that policy; b) a contemporaneous parody (as one of the links suggests is believed by some) by people mocking the policy by being more vulgar than those implementing the policy might be expected to be; or c) a later hoax/forgery by someone who was aware that there had been such a crackdown or at least a proposal for such a crackdown. The document showing the existence of such a policy or proposed policy does nothing to distinguish among those 3 possibilities as far as I can tell. The notion of bureaucrats promulgating an anti-obscenity/profanity policy which is circumspectly phrased in non-obscene/non-profane language but can nonetheless be expected to be understood by its intended audience will perhaps seem inherently comical to some moderns, but that doesn’t mean that wasn’t an approach often tried. In the other direction, the notion (use v. mention?) of the taboo words spewing forth from the prim censor’s mouth as he tries to explain what NOT to do is also intrinsically comical (I remember one day in the late ’70’s when my Scoutmaster was trying to remonstrate with a bunch of adolescent boys as to why they should not use “scumbag” in their ordinary speech), and it is highly plausible that some long-ago predecessor of Lenny Bruce or George Carlin might have worked up a satirical routine based on that sort of premise.

  16. dearieme says:

    “keeping in mind that that ‘r’ is not pronounced anyway”: oh but it is pronounced in the more euphonious British accents.

  17. The DNB’s Chips Channon entry was written by Richard Davenport-Hines, who wrote The Pursuit of Oblivion: A Global History of Narcotics which Jim Salant likes a lot. He’s written dozens of other DNB entries, including Jack the Ripper’s.

  18. I’m with J.W.Brewer. It might be contemporaneous, but it’s still fake.

  19. Bathrobe says:

    but it is pronounced in the more euphonious British accents
    Then it is an intrusive /r/, because I don’t believe there was an /r/ in there originally.

  20. I’m with J.W.Brewer. It might be contemporaneous, but it’s still fake.
    Sigh… I suppose you guys are right. Oh well, at least an 1898 fake is a lot funnier than a modern one!

  21. Bathrobe says:

    Well, totally wrong I am, and I should have known because German has Arsch. There originally was an /r/ in ‘arse’.
    So the confusion between ‘ass’ and ‘arse’ could only have come about in non-rhotic accents, and this suggests that ‘ass’ (the donkey) must originally have been pronounced to rhyme with ‘pass’, hence the need to disambiguate the donkey from the buttocks by adopting a new word for the animal, and that word was ‘donkey’.

  22. How is a player-created “fake” from 1898 any less relevant than a “real” secret MLB document that was meant only for private viewing? Either way it shows that epithets like “cocksucker” and “go fuck yourself” were understood and used non-literally a few decades earlier than linguists like Nunberg believed.
    J.W. is also slightly misrepresenting the evidence. The document establishes more than an “intention”, it states that private instructions were to be read to the players, signed and returned. Only circumstantial evidence to be sure, the document with the obscenities may well be a player parody of the true instructions. Actually, that strikes me as pretty likely, but either way this strengthens the case that the document really was produced in 1898.

  23. I don’t suppose that I’m the only one to observe that when the ‘boys’ are playing around here tossing ‘dirty words’ back and forth, none of the ladies participate. Odd. I remember, back around ’69, ’70, some women were quick to interject the word ‘fuck’ into a conversation with a man they didn’t know, presumably to assert their equality. Obviously that didn’t catch on generally.

  24. hence the need to disambiguate the donkey from the buttocks by adopting a new word for the animal, and that word was ‘donkey’.
    Did Duncan take offense?

  25. none of the ladies participate
    You obviously don’t know many teenage girls.

  26. Trond Engen says:

    The Norwegian arse is metatesized: rass. But there’s an interjection æsj used for mild disgust and as a “nanny word” roughly equivalent too ‘poo’ (or was in my nappie days in the seventies — our ways are rougher now) that I think may continue the unmetatesized form.

  27. Æsj is ‘yuck’.

  28. You’re right, AJP; I only know teenage girls from a distance, but if they swore in my presence it might be at me, since I never learned to control my roving eye. Not that I think i’m any different from other men in that department.

  29. J.W. Brewer says:

    Vanya: from a source linked to by one of hat’s links:
    [Jesse] Sheidlower, the “F Word” author, corrected an assertion made in this column’s original version that the letter contained the earliest printed use of the word “cocksucker” as an insult and the phrase “go fuck yourself.”
    “The Historical Dictionary of American Slang has an 1897 example of ‘go and fuck yourself,’” he writes — a citation this column missed. “And I have found evidence of nonliteral ‘cocksucker’ from the 1860s, in Civil War court martial records.”
    If it’s an contemporaneous (as opposed to subsequent) parody/hoax that does make it of more linguistic interest, but still doesn’t make it “authentic” from a historical standpoint (or at least, makes it “authentically” a different historically-interesting thing than what it purports to be). The fact that the non-obscene document stating the policy had a sign-and-return provision rather begs the question of why no signed-and-returned copies seem to have surfaced in the league headquarters’ archives, doesn’t it? Of course, you’d need to know in general what sort and quantity of centrally-held bureaucratic records have survived from that era to know what sort of inference if any is to be drawn from silence.

  30. John Emerson says:

    Makes me think of all the times Huckleberry Finn said something about sucking eggs.
    Rabelais euphemized blasphemy, by the way. As a suspected heretic, he was probably just avoiding the stake .

  31. John Emerson says:

    Per Zhuangzi, someone whose job is sucking boils gets paid more the closer the boil is to the asshole. That’s why Chinese Prime Ministers were paid so well.

  32. Trond Engen says:

    Æsj is ‘yuck’.
    As an interjection, yes. As a noun it’s “poo”.
    And thinking of it, I can’t have used nappies for that long beyond the sixties, but I have siblings who did, so I still used the word. Keeping track of nappy records was big in my circles in the early seventies.

  33. The arse/ass alternation seems to be paralleled by burst/bust, horse/hoss, where the colloquial American form omits the r.

  34. I return to this thread with the thought that AJP’s response to my comment was an indication that said comment was ambiguous. To be more specific: the ladies I referred to were those that frequent this salon.

  35. marie-lucie says:

    If you are talking about me, I am rather old-fashioned (after all I am a retired lady already). But I have fun listening to you guys.

  36. Glad you find it fun, m-l. I had sensed the presence of ladies listening in, a silent ghostly crowd.

  37. Joe Green says:

    @Bathrobe: “this suggests that ‘ass’ (the donkey) must originally have been pronounced to rhyme with ‘pass'”
    Not sure what you mean by “originlly” here, nor which way you’re suggesting a change happened. In Northern English (if I may so generalise), “ass” and “pass” *do* rhyme (and have a short “a”).

  38. Bathrobe, Bill W. is right. A sound-change /rs/ > /s/ (and similarly before other dentals) known as “early loss of /r/” operated before the split into rhotic and non-rhotic varieties. It didn’t stick, but it left us with a few pairs like bust/burst and cuss/curse that happened to be preserved in NAmE but not in BrE. During that period, apparently ass and arse merged in the dialects that led to North American English, and once merged, it could not un-merge.
    In some cases, the change did stick on both sides of the Pond: bærs > bass ‘the fish’; moss-trooper ’17th-century Scottish bandit’ was originally a compound in marsh; palsy < Anglo-French parlesie < Latin paralysis. An apparent hypercorrection of the change is parsnip < pasnepe.
    “Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just / But four times he who gets a blow in fust.” — William Shakespeare / Josh Billings

  39. Talking of non-rhotic R, I’m watching a superb Danish tv serial called in English The Killing (2007). I don’t understand spoken Danish (it’s subtitled), but one thing I notice is that they (the Copenhagenites) have non-rhotic Rs that sound very southern English to me. Is the British non-rhotic R a hangover from dansk invasions that took place a millennium ago?

  40. Bathrobe says:

    Nice to have that cleared up! I was confused by the pass/pass : ass/arse pairings. That is to say, pass and ass rhyme for rhotics, and pass and arse rhyme for non-rhotics. It was the sequence of changes that led to this parallelism that had me wondering.

  41. Crown: No, of course not, or all of English would be non-rhotic. This is a fine example of what I call a Loopy Substrate Hypothesis, the notion that some event (the Danish invasions) could effect a change in the language not at the time, but generations later, as if it were hidden in a recessive gene. Linguists have occasionally come out with these, though usually not so baldly.
    Bathrobe:
    Pass and arse rhyme in RP and related accents because of three independent sound changes. Except in Scottish and Irish English, all /ar/ words changed during the Early Modern English period to /ɑr/, using a vowel which did not exist in Middle English. Much later, certain words in the English of Southern England containing /a(n)s/, /a(n)f/, /a(n)θ/ also adopted /ɑ/ in a process called “broadening” or “the TRAP/BATH split”: pass is one of these. Exactly which words were broadened is fairly unpredictable: bath but not math, grass but not crass. This is also the geographical area in which non-rhoticity began, though it has spread much more widely than broadening.
    Specifically, the Southern Hemisphere Englishes share both changes with Southern England due to the date at which they split off, but neither one ever affected Scotland, Ireland, or most of North America (Eastern New England being the exception for broadening, and most of the Eastern cities for non-rhoticity). Wales and the North of England have non-rhoticity but not broadening.
    Father is an exceptional word: its broadening is unexplained, and it has spread extremely widely, with the historically expected pronunciation fayther confined to a few dialects here and there. See the Wikipedia article “Phonological history of English short a” for details on the loop-the-loops of this one vowel.

  42. “I don’t understand spoken Danish.” Who does?

  43. Bill Walderman says:

    “Is the British non-rhotic R a hangover from dansk invasions that took place a millennium ago?”
    I think the Danish non-rhotic R may have arisen out of a uvular R, which in turn replaced an apico-dental R sometime in the early 19th century. Anyone have more precise information about this?

  44. Bill Walderman says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the “non-rhotic” Danish R — a glide originating out of a uvular R — is paralleled in German, where uvular R replaced the apico-dental R and then turned into a glide vowel in a post-vocalic context.

  45. The phrase sucking eggs may have been reinforced by the common metaphor “egg” = “testicle”, but it basically refers to the habit that some farm dogs acquire of stealing eggs from under hens and eating them. This is very bad for the chicken-keepers, who need either the protein or the money, and by all reports it is difficult to impossible to break a dog of this habit once picked up. So an “egg-sucking dog” is a worthless, no-account one, a liability rather than an asset to its owner.
    But here’s Mark Twain speaking in his own persona in Life on the Missisippi:

    Of course, on the great rise [of the Missisippi River], down came a swarm of prodigious timber-rafts from the head waters of the Mississippi, coal barges from Pittsburgh, little trading scows from everywhere, and broad-horns [cargo rafts] from Posey County, Indiana, freighted with “fruit and furniture” — the usual term for describing it, though in plain English the freight thus aggrandized was hoop-poles and pumpkins.
    Pilots bore a mortal hatred to these craft; and it was returned with usury. The law required all such helpless traders to keep a light burning, but it was a law that was often broken. All of a sudden, on a murky night, a light would hop up, right under our bows, almost, and an agonized voice, with the backwoods ‘whang’ to it, would wail out —

    “Whar’n the —— you goin’ to! Cain’t you see nothin’, you dash-dashed aig-suckin’, sheep-stealin’, one-eyed son of a stuffed monkey!” [Note that all three epithets are applicable to dogs.]

    Then for an instant, as we whistled by, the red glare from our furnaces would reveal the scow and the form of the gesticulating orator as if under a lightning-flash, and in that instant our firemen and deck-hands would send and receive a tempest of missiles and profanity, one of our wheels would walk off with the crashing fragments of a steering-oar, and down the dead blackness would shut again. And that flatboatman would be sure to go into New Orleans and sue our boat, swearing stoutly that he had a light burning all the time, when in truth his gang had the lantern down below to sing and lie and drink and gamble by, and no watch on deck.
    Once, at night, in one of those forest-bordered crevices (behind an island) which steamboatmen intensely describe with the phrase “as dark as the inside [now that is euphemistic!] of a cow,” we should have eaten up a Posey County family, fruit, furniture, and all, but that they happened to be fiddling down below, and we just caught the sound of the music in time to sheer off, doing no serious damage, unfortunately, but coming so near it that we had good hopes for a moment. These people brought up their lantern, then, of course; and as we backed and filled to get away, the precious family stood in the light of it — both sexes and various ages — and cursed us till everything turned blue. Once a coalboatman sent a bullet through our pilot-house, when we borrowed a steering oar of him in a very narrow place.

  46. John Emerson says:

    Egg-sucking may have been an actual thing, but I suspect that Twain used it in place of the actual profanity he couldn’t use. He had a very full vocabulary picked up in his early life, and it never showed up in his books or in his wife’s presence. I bought his recent autobiography (sequestered for a century) in the hope that his language would be franker, but no. There is a report that his daughters developed the habit of hiding where they could hear what he said to tradesmen when his wife wasn’t around.

  47. J.W. Brewer says:

    Google books turns up an 1835 issue of the Literary Gazette saying “One has heard the quaint old saying, ‘Teach your grandmother to suck eggs;’ implying that it was presumptuous in youth and inexperience to attempt to dictate to years and wisdom.” I take that to be some evidence that “suck eggs” was not commonly taken in the 19th C. to be an obvious sexual double entendre. And, hey, it’s got its own wiki article with citatons back into the 18th C. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teaching_grandmother_to_suck_eggs.
    But see also the Alistair Crowley title (apparently of “Chapter 69” of one of his books — nudge nudge, wink wink) “The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs”, which is supposedly a double entendre because “succeed” = “suck seed.” Except there (according to the secondary literature) “eggs” are supposed to be symbolically female as contrasted with the symbolically male “seed.”

  48. This WiPe article bears out my hunch that when grandmother sucks an egg it is in order to create a nearly intact shell for decorating, as at Easter.
    Actually my own grandmother would make the two holes and then blow (not suck) through one, causing the raw egg to go out the other and into a bowl (not into her mouth).

  49. Empty: My mother did that too.

  50. Bathrobe says:

    @jc
    The explanation of the RP/Antipodean side is pretty clear to me. The problem I didn’t understand was 1) the reason for avoiding ‘ass’ for donkey, given that ‘ass’ and ‘arse’ are pronounced differently. The only reason I could think of for the avoidance is if ‘ass’ were at some time pronounced the same as ‘arse’, and 2) the US side, where ‘r’ has disappeared. The explanation for both of these phenomena lies in the development of an ‘r’-less arse, as you mention.

  51. marie-lucie says:

    the reason for avoiding ‘ass’ for donkey, ….
    Could it be also (as a contributing factor) because “ass” (as in “pompous ass” or “the law is an ass”) had become (at least in part) a derogatory term for a human, while “donkey” was unmistakably a reference to the animal? (if it comes from “Duncan”, it could have been an affectionate nickname, and the transfer from a proper to a common name could have happened as with “Renard” instead of “goupil” for a fox in French).

  52. Thank you very much, Bill Walderman. My theory is shot down, nevertheless I like your verbal description of the voice’s noises.

  53. Marie-Lucie, that would be fine, except that donkey was and is also used to insult human beings. Quoth the OED2:
    1840 Thackeray Shabby-genteel Story ix, ‘What a blubbering, abthurd donkey!’ said Cinqbars.
    1862 C. M. Yonge Countess Kate xii. 212 You little donkey, you’ll be off!
    1878 Mrs. H. Wood Pomeroy Abbey I. 254 What a donkey he must be.

  54. marie-lucie says:

    JC: My theory is shot down too! But perhaps not: this use of “donkey” looks like a euphemism in order to avoid “ass”. Are these the only references you found, or just a representative sample? They are all from literary works (not verbatim quotations from actual people) of the mid-to-late 19C, so perhaps the euphemism was only used for a time (and perhaps among a specific segment of society) and did not last in general parlance?

  55. That’s all the OED lists, but the entry is unmodified OED1, which means the closing date for that word was June 1897. It still seems to be current, though.
    The computer game Donkey Kong got its name because its Japanese designer believed that donkey actually MEANT ‘stupid’ in English, so he meant it to mean ‘stupid ape’.

  56. About “donkey” meaning stupid, today’s Guardian thinks it’s Arab:

    A turning point came last August when a delegation of senior Hezbollah officials came to Damascus and was due to eat an Iftar meal, to break the Ramadan fast.
    The Hezbollah men asked Manaf what he thought about Assad’s handling of the situation, according to one Syrian source.
    “The response came fast and dry – ‘a donkey’,” said the source. “In Arabic, the poor animal occupies a very low level in the hierarchy of the animal kingdom and the term is generally used to denote a clueless person with no intelligence whatsoever.
    “Taking it as an insult, the Hezbollah team got up and apologised for not being able to have dinner there as they made up other excuses.
    “As Firas and Manaf stood up to accompany their hosts out, which is customary in these events, their father asked to sit down and let the guests leave unaccompanied, a sign of derision in Arab customs.”

  57. Donkeys aren’t really stupid, in case anyone was wondering.

  58. Donkeys aren’t really stupid, in case anyone was wondering.
    Television documentaries have informed me that donkeys can seem intractable sometimes – but it should be remembered that this is from a human’s point of view. It is people’s impatience, and their ignorance of donkeyness, that create the problem. Donkeys sometimes need a little more coaxing, wining and dining than other mammals.

  59. I wish we had such good tv, Stu. We never get donkey documentaries.

  60. Well, at least you’re out there with the goats and the crows, the birds and the bees. What I know about the animal kingdom I know only from tv. If a donkey accosted me in front of the Cathedral, I would probably give it the cold shoulder, thinking it was just panhandling.

  61. dearieme says:

    WhenIwasaboy, two donkeys with panniers accompanied us onto the beach where we collected fish from the stake nets in the firth. The donkey man would reward us by letting us keep the flukes: he kept the other flatfish, and the salmon and trout. Mind you, we went out with them, him and his braying friends, only in Summer: we weren’t entirely daft.

  62. Robert Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar is far and away the best movie ever made about a donkey and shows a deep insight into the lives of donkeys. It is, however/therefore, quite depressing. Well worth seeing, but not if you’re already down in the dumps.

  63. “far and away the best movie ever made about a donkey”
    On this I would have confidence only in your judgement, Language. But I couldn’t bear to watch.

  64. John Emerson says:

    There’s a theory that the terms “white meat”, “dark meat”, “rooster” and “donkey” became popular as ways of avoiding the words “leg”, “breast”, “cock”, and “ass”.
    I

  65. John E, for the first three I’d say that theory is solid: all of them are Americanisms, though rooster ‘one who roosts’ shows up in British dialects too. The fourth one I’m not so sure of.

  66. About “donkey” meaning stupid, today’s Guardian thinks it’s Arab
    Calling someone a donkey khamor חמור in Hebrew means you’re saying the person is exceptionally stubborn. (It’s almost the identical word in Arabic — something like khamr.)
    _______________
    An old Israeli yarn (perhaps Palestinian Arab too) about the British and their love of animals:
    Back in the days of the British Mandate in Palestine, a British policeman sees an Arab beating a tired old donkey struggling to carry a huge load. The policeman takes them both to the station, tethers the donkey to a post in the courtyard, and after administering a good beating to the Arab, throws him into a dank, festering cell. Two weeks, many blows and little food or water later the Arab is released, and the first thing he sees is his donkey, wandering about the courtyard, a bucket of oats and fresh water nearby, and all cleaned and groomed. As he leads his donkey away, he whispers into his ear, “I didn’t know you had relatives among the British.”

  67. Too bad it’s so far from being true.

  68. Is it bad that none of that language particularly shocked or surprised me? I was kind of hoping to hear something not in common usage anymore like “puck” or “cooter” or “dago”. Oh well.
    Cheers,
    Andrew

  69. PeteMcK says:

    In Australian cricket this behaviour is called ‘sledging’

  70. Ironically these days “white meat” and “dark meat” seem to be terms that carry more sexual charge than “leg” or “breast”. Or maybe I’m in the wrong circles…

  71. Another lovely case of the early loss of /r/ is ferte > fart; see the Oxford Etymologist’s writeup.
    Bathrobe: when Dearieme speaks of “the more euphonious British accents”, he means the Scottish ones, which are rhotic. There are occasional spots of intrusive /r/ in Scottish Standard English: James Scobbie finds intrusive /r/ in his own pronunciations of Chicago, unauthorised, theatre, idea, inaugural. This is of course the result of analogy. A contrary analogy once caused a Midwestern child to report references by Boston children to God /gɒd/ as /gɑrd/.

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