Monday, January 7, 2008

Words I'd Like to See Make a Comeback (One in an occasional series)


n. 1 [Informal] a scamp; rascal 2 a Southern
white who supported the Republicans during the Reconstruction: an opprobrious
term used by Southern Democrats


Temperance said...

I like “scalawag,” but I was unaware of its political meaning. I always associated it with pirates for some reason.

I’ve become obsessed with Hollywood movies from the 1930’s and that’s led me to hope for a revival of “mug,” as in “a thug, ruffian, or other criminal.”

June Casagrande said...

"Mug" is awesome. "You bunch of lousy mugs" -- like that, right?

"Scoundrel" isn't bad, either. But "mug" is better.

Temperance said...

Exactly. Edgar G. Robinson and James Cagney had a particularly compelling way of saying it. And they often folded into other Depression-era words and catchphrases like, “You mugs oughta start gettin’ wise to yourselves.” According to my nerdy “Now Playing” guide, TCM is showing a great Cagney movie (“Blonde Crazy,” 1931) tomorrow night at 2:45 am eastern (although is listing it for Thursday for some reason). Tune in for Cagney. Stay for co-star Blondell. My favorite!

I love “scoundrel,” although it sounds best coming from a woman. Is that sexist? It seems like there’s something gender-specific about it.

I also like “chisler.”


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