Origin of 'copperosity'?

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Mike Schwitzgebel

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Sep 17, 2002, 2:35:03 PM9/17/02
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My grandfather was fond of using odd-sounding words and phrases that we, his
grandchildren, have tended to assume were made up to fill some momentary
lack in his English vocabulary. Some of these included "imitistically
speaking, and in an offhand manner", "rodamontating", and "copperosity".
When I decided to incorporate the last of these into a domain name, I
included on the associated web site my theory of where Granddad might have
come up with such a word, only to receive a half a dozen e-mails from people
whose fathers and grandfathers had also used the word. Since then, I have
tried, without success, to find a reference to "copperosity" in as many hard
copy and online dictionaries as I could readily access.

And now I pose the question to you all, in the hope that someone besides me
will find it intriguing.

As near as I've been able to tell, "copperosity" seems to have been in most
active use during the mid-to-late 19th century and early 20th. The word
seems to have been used in the context of physical health, as in, "Eat your
green beans; they're good for your copperosity" or "How's your copperosity
sagaciating, this morning?" All of the people who have told me that they
remember family members using the word live in the United States; however,
one gentleman remarked that his father used to used the word rather formally
to when addressing his wife, upon his return from work. He said that the
family background was "strictly English from way back, therefore fully
starched in speech, manners, posture, etc."

I have found only one more or less non-anecdotal reference, in a newspaper
column written by Kent Biffle for The Dallas Morning News. In the piece,
Biffle sets off on a tongue-in-cheek fit of pique over Nicholas Doran P.
Maillard's 1842 book, _The History of the Republic of Texas, From the
Discovery of the Country to the Present Time; And the Cause of Her
Separation from the Republic of Mexico_. In this book (according to
Biffle), Maillard observes that one common greeting, among Texans, is "How
does your copperosity sagaciate this morning?"(1)

So. My origin hypothesis is that, in the 19th century, some aspects of
health were associated with the concentration of copper in the blood--true,
of course--and that inquiring after one's "copperosity" was a colloquial way
of asking how he was feeling. That's only conjecture, however, and I'd like
to learn the historical origin, if one of you knows it. And, if someone
could suggest good sources for information on *other* such words, that would
be even better!

Mike
--
To reply via email, remove the TUMOR from my address.

1. Biffle, Kent. "Brit's take on state of republic." The Dallas Morning
News. 2 June, 2002.

John Dean

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Sep 17, 2002, 5:30:46 PM9/17/02
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Mike Schwitzgebel wrote:
> My grandfather was fond of using odd-sounding words and phrases that
> we, his grandchildren, have tended to assume were made up to fill
> some momentary lack in his English vocabulary. Some of these
> included "imitistically speaking, and in an offhand manner",
> "rodamontating", and "copperosity".

>In this


> book (according to Biffle), Maillard observes that one common
> greeting, among Texans, is "How does your copperosity sagaciate this
> morning?"(1)
>
> So. My origin hypothesis is that, in the 19th century, some aspects
> of health were associated with the concentration of copper in the
> blood--true, of course--and that inquiring after one's "copperosity"
> was a colloquial way of asking how he was feeling. That's only
> conjecture, however, and I'd like to learn the historical origin, if
> one of you knows it.

OED has a cite for 'sagaciate' ('jocular comb of sagacious + ate):-

1832 Boston Transcript 2 Aug. 2/3 Well, Clem, how do you sagatiate dis lubly
wedder? 1842 Literary Gaz. 1 Jan. 6/3 How does your copperosity sagaciate
this morning? 1880 J. C. Harris Uncle Remus ii. 24 ‘How duz yo' sym'tums
seem ter segashuate?’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee

and it has 'corporosity' ''= Bulkiness of body. Also used in a humorous
title or greeting (see quot. 1950).
1837 J. C. Neal Charcoal Sketches (Farmer), His corporosity touches the
ground with his hands in a vain attempt to reach it. 1870 O. Logan Before
Footlights 174 A gentleman endowed with an ample corporosity. 1890 Jrnl.
Amer. Folk-Lore III. 64 How does your corporosity sagatiate? 1922 Joyce
Ulysses 418 Your corporosity sagaciating O K? 1950 Publ. Amer. Dial. Soc.
XIV. 59 ‘How is your corporosity segaciating?’ meaning, how is your health?
''

So it seems to do with bodily bulk (cf Brit Eng 'corporation' - the body or
abdomen)

'rodomontating' is clearly from rodomontade / rhodomontade - boasting or
bragging. From Rodomont, a character in orlando Furioso


>And, if someone could suggest good sources for
> information on *other* such words, that would be even better!

Well, OED CD-ROM provided me with all the above. Of course, you could always
post queries here - it's the kind of thing we're interested in.!
Plus some of us are Grandfathers & welcome any hints that enable us to add
to our seeming eccentricity.
--
John Dean
Oxford
De-frag to reply


Mike Schwitzgebel

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Sep 18, 2002, 8:32:00 AM9/18/02
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"John Dean" <john...@frag.lineone.net> wrote:

> and it has 'corporosity' ''= Bulkiness of body. Also used in a humorous
> title or greeting (see quot. 1950).
> 1837 J. C. Neal Charcoal Sketches (Farmer), His corporosity touches the
> ground with his hands in a vain attempt to reach it. 1870 O. Logan Before
> Footlights 174 A gentleman endowed with an ample corporosity. 1890 Jrnl.
> Amer. Folk-Lore III. 64 How does your corporosity sagatiate? 1922 Joyce
> Ulysses 418 Your corporosity sagaciating O K? 1950 Publ. Amer. Dial. Soc.
> XIV. 59 ‘How is your corporosity segaciating?’ meaning, how is your
health?
> ''
>
> So it seems to do with bodily bulk (cf Brit Eng 'corporation' - the body
or
> abdomen)

Thanks very much, John. That sounds definitive, to me. It also makes me
think that I might want to reconsider my pinchpenny ways and spring for
either the online or CD version of OED (I somehow suspect that the print
version would be in rather in the way, in my usual reading room).

> 'rodomontating' is clearly from rodomontade / rhodomontade - boasting or
> bragging. From Rodomont, a character in orlando Furioso

I had this one figured correctly, at least. Thanks, Dictionary.com!

> Well, OED CD-ROM provided me with all the above. Of course, you could
always
> post queries here - it's the kind of thing we're interested in.!

One likes to pick one's battles, however. Thanks again for the information.

Mike


Mike Lyle

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Sep 18, 2002, 3:34:32 PM9/18/02
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"Mike Schwitzgebel" <tempn...@copperTUMORosity.com> wrote in message news:<DCA2CACDD5AEEFE3.3B0D0BDB...@lp.airnews.net>...
> "John Dean" <john...@frag.lineone.net> wrote:
[...]

>
> > 'rodomontating' is clearly from rodomontade / rhodomontade - boasting or
> > bragging. From Rodomont, a character in orlando Furioso
[...]

And, boy, isn't it a beaut? I hope it spreads like wildfire.

Mike.

isb...@gmail.com

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Oct 8, 2013, 2:32:16 AM10/8/13
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My mother, born in 1929 in Texas and raised in Oklahoma use to say copperosity all the time. She used it to refer to your rear-end ... but always with a twinkle in her Irish eyes.

Mark Brader

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Oct 8, 2013, 4:09:11 AM10/8/13
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Well, "corporation" can be a jocular word for a potbelly (I suppose
because the root "corp-" means "body"); perhaps this "copperosity"
is a variation both of the word form and of the body part indicated.
--
Mark Brader ...the scariest words of the afternoon:
Toronto "Hey, don't worry, I've read all about
m...@vex.net doing this sort of thing!" -- Vernor Vinge

CDB

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Oct 8, 2013, 7:30:22 AM10/8/13
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On 08/10/2013 4:09 AM, Mark Brader wrote:
> I.S.B. Hall, apparently, writes:

>> My mother, born in 1929 in Texas and raised in Oklahoma use to say
>> copperosity all the time. She used it to refer to your rear-end ...
>> but always with a twinkle in her Irish eyes.

> Well, "corporation" can be a jocular word for a potbelly (I suppose
> because the root "corp-" means "body"); perhaps this "copperosity"
> is a variation both of the word form and of the body part indicated.

The question was raised here a bit over ten years ago, WYBI*, and
answered to the satisfaction of that OP by John Dean. "Corporosity", or
"bulkiness of body", more or less as you thought.

*Well, would you?

http://home.copperosity.com/copperosity.htm


Brian Austin

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Oct 8, 2013, 1:01:43 PM10/8/13
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A Web search confirms that 'corporosity' was Southern U.S. slang for
'body' back in the day. A quote I found:

�Steve, how does your corporosity seem to segashuate?�
�Fine as split silk,� promptly returned Steve.

The quote is from
http://deadconfederates.com/2011/11/11/everyone-laughs-both-at-and-with-steve/

(Steve Perry, better known now as �Uncle� Steve Eberhart, was
something of a minor celebrity at Confederate reunions in the early
1920s. He attended numerous reunions over the course of 20 years or
so, where he appeared in a tall, feathered stovepipe hat, carrying
live hens and a brightly-colored sash embroidered �ROME, GA,� and tiny
U.S. and Confederate flags pinned to his shoulder boards.)

The word also shows up in a book titled 'Some peculiarities of speech
in Mississippi':

http://www.archive.org/stream/somepeculiariti00shangoog/somepeculiariti00shangoog_djvu.txt

Here's the quote:

'Segashuate (sSg*aeJyu�t). This word is used by negroes in the
sentence : " How does your corporosity seem to sagashuate ? "
and is a common way of inquiring after anybody's health.
Corporosity seems to refer to bodily condition, and I suppose
is connected with the Latin coipus. Sagashuate, as far as I
know, is not used outside of this or similar expressions, and
here it would seem to mean to thrive or prosper.'

In Walt Kelly's marvelous comic strip "Pogo Possum' the characters
would sometimes greet each other in this way...

- Brian

PS. My spell checker recognizes both spellings of the verb!

CDB

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Oct 8, 2013, 1:50:52 PM10/8/13
to
On 08/10/2013 1:01 PM, Brian Austin wrote:
> CDB <belle...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Mark Brader wrote:
>>> I.S.B. Hall, apparently, writes:

>>>> My mother, born in 1929 in Texas and raised in Oklahoma use to say
>>>> copperosity all the time. She used it to refer to your rear-end ...
>>>> but always with a twinkle in her Irish eyes.

>>> Well, "corporation" can be a jocular word for a potbelly (I suppose
>>> because the root "corp-" means "body"); perhaps this "copperosity"
>>> is a variation both of the word form and of the body part indicated.

>> The question was raised here a bit over ten years ago, WYBI*, and
>> answered to the satisfaction of that OP by John Dean. "Corporosity", or
>> "bulkiness of body", more or less as you thought.

>> *Well, would you?

>> http://home.copperosity.com/copperosity.htm

> A Web search confirms that 'corporosity' was Southern U.S. slang for
> 'body' back in the day. A quote I found:

> �Steve, how does your corporosity seem to segashuate?�
> �Fine as split silk,� promptly returned Steve.
> (Steve Perry, better known now as �Uncle� Steve Eberhart, was
> something of a minor celebrity at Confederate reunions in the early
> 1920s. He attended numerous reunions over the course of 20 years or
> so, where he appeared in a tall, feathered stovepipe hat, carrying
> live hens and a brightly-colored sash embroidered �ROME, GA,� and tiny
> U.S. and Confederate flags pinned to his shoulder boards.)

> The word also shows up in a book titled 'Some peculiarities of speech
> in Mississippi':

>
http://www.archive.org/stream/somepeculiariti00shangoog/somepeculiariti00shangoog_djvu.txt

> Here's the quote:

> 'Segashuate (sSg*aeJyu�t). This word is used by negroes in the
> sentence : " How does your corporosity seem to sagashuate ? "
> and is a common way of inquiring after anybody's health.
> Corporosity seems to refer to bodily condition, and I suppose
> is connected with the Latin coipus. Sagashuate, as far as I
> know, is not used outside of this or similar expressions, and
> here it would seem to mean to thrive or prosper.'

> In Walt Kelly's marvelous comic strip "Pogo Possum' the characters
> would sometimes greet each other in this way...

> PS. My spell checker recognizes both spellings of the verb!

I have moved your message to the bottom of the page. Bottom-posting is
a strongly-preferred local custom, sometimes savagely enforced (we pout
and answer in riddles. Oh, wait ...).

I should think "sagashuate" is a verb formed from "sagacious", which
seems to have meant "good" as well as "wise" in C19 and not to have been
used much since. The Dog Crusoe was called "sagacious" by his master in
one of the two RM Ballantyne adventures I was able to get hold of as a
child. A Lab; what did he expect?


Dr Nick

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Oct 8, 2013, 4:10:13 PM10/8/13
to
Although I can't help wondering, given the use to refer to the rear-end
to the old "copper bottom" for "Nicholas" joke.

Nick Spalding

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Oct 8, 2013, 4:31:50 PM10/8/13
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Dr Nick wrote, in <878uy3y...@temporary-address.org.uk>
on Tue, 08 Oct 2013 21:10:13 +0100:
That what was what my prep school headmaster used to call me.
--
Nick Spalding
BrE/IrE

CDB

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Oct 8, 2013, 11:45:54 PM10/8/13
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Took me a minute. You non-rhotics!


Dr Nick

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Oct 9, 2013, 2:23:33 AM10/9/13
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It doesn't even really work then - there's very little similarity
between the vowel at the end of "Nicholas" and the one in a non-rhotic
"arse".

Mike L

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Oct 9, 2013, 6:23:38 PM10/9/13
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There was also a version "Brass-arse", which brought a snigger or two
in the Anct History lesson in which Nikias and Brassas were
introduced.

--
Mike.

Peter Moylan

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Oct 11, 2013, 8:08:15 AM10/11/13
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On 10/10/13 09:23, Mike L wrote:
> On Wed, 09 Oct 2013 07:23:33 +0100, Dr Nick
> <nosp...@temporary-address.org.uk> wrote:
>
>> CDB <belle...@gmail.com> writes:
>>
>>> On 08/10/2013 4:10 PM, Dr Nick wrote:
>>>> CDB <belle...@gmail.com> writes:
>>>>> On 08/10/2013 4:09 AM, Mark Brader wrote:
>>>>>> I.S.B. Hall, apparently, writes:
>>>
>>>>>>> My mother, born in 1929 in Texas and raised in Oklahoma use to say
>>>>>>> copperosity all the time. She used it to refer to your rear-end ...
>>>>>>> but always with a twinkle in her Irish eyes.
>>>
>>>>>> Well, "corporation" can be a jocular word for a potbelly (I suppose
>>>>>> because the root "corp-" means "body"); perhaps this "copperosity"
>>>>>> is a variation both of the word form and of the body part indicated.
>>>
>>>>> The question was raised here a bit over ten years ago, WYBI*, and
>>>>> answered to the satisfaction of that OP by John Dean. "Corporosity",
>>>>> or "bulkiness of body", more or less as you thought.
>>>
>>>>> *Well, would you?
>>>
>>>>> http://home.copperosity.com/copperosity.htm
>>>
>>>> Although I can't help wondering, given the use to refer to the rear-end
>>>> to the old "copper bottom" for "Nicholas" joke.
>>>
>>> Took me a minute. You non-rhotics!

It took me a minute too, for a different reason. There used to be a TV
show called The Nicholas Parsons Show. Subsequently someone came up with
another TV show, almost certainly playing on the title of the first one,
called The Naked Vicar Show.

>> It doesn't even really work then - there's very little similarity
>> between the vowel at the end of "Nicholas" and the one in a non-rhotic
>> "arse".
>
> There was also a version "Brass-arse", which brought a snigger or two
> in the Anct History lesson in which Nikias and Brassas were
> introduced.

The sniggers in our history lessons came when the Kanakas (Pacific
Islanders) were mentioned.

--
Peter Moylan, Newcastle, NSW, Australia. http://www.pmoylan.org
For an e-mail address, see my web page.

Dr Nick

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Oct 11, 2013, 4:12:20 PM10/11/13
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Peter Moylan <pe...@pmoylan.org.invalid> writes:

> It took me a minute too, for a different reason. There used to be a TV
> show called The Nicholas Parsons Show. Subsequently someone came up with
> another TV show, almost certainly playing on the title of the first one,
> called The Naked Vicar Show.

"And now, a lady who like Nicholas Parsons; and a parson who likes
knickerless ladies". The Two Ronnies, obviously.

R H Draney

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Oct 11, 2013, 6:23:08 PM10/11/13
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Dr Nick filted:
Was that the programme that kept confusing Flushing Meadows with WC Fields?...r


--
Me? Sarcastic?
Yeah, right.

Jerry Friedman

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Oct 11, 2013, 6:37:12 PM10/11/13
to
On Tuesday, October 8, 2013 11:50:52 AM UTC-6, CDB wrote:
> On 08/10/2013 1:01 PM, Brian Austin wrote:
> > CDB <belle...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> Mark Brader wrote:
> >>> I.S.B. Hall, apparently, writes:
>
> >>>> My mother, born in 1929 in Texas and raised in Oklahoma use to say
> >>>> copperosity all the time. She used it to refer to your rear-end ...
> >>>> but always with a twinkle in her Irish eyes.
>
> >>> Well, "corporation" can be a jocular word for a potbelly (I suppose
> >>> because the root "corp-" means "body"); perhaps this "copperosity"
> >>> is a variation both of the word form and of the body part indicated.
>
> >> The question was raised here a bit over ten years ago, WYBI*, and
> >> answered to the satisfaction of that OP by John Dean. "Corporosity", or
> >> "bulkiness of body", more or less as you thought.
>
> >> *Well, would you?
>
> >> http://home.copperosity.com/copperosity.htm
>
> > A Web search confirms that 'corporosity' was Southern U.S. slang for
> > 'body' back in the day. A quote I found:
>
> > �Steve, how does your corporosity seem to segashuate?�

...
> > The word also shows up in a book titled 'Some peculiarities of speech
> > in Mississippi':
>
> http://www.archive.org/stream/somepeculiariti00shangoog/somepeculiariti00shangoog_djvu.txt
>
> > Here's the quote:
>
> > 'Segashuate (sSg*aeJyu�t). This word is used by negroes in the
> > sentence : " How does your corporosity seem to sagashuate ? "
> > and is a common way of inquiring after anybody's health.
>
> > Corporosity seems to refer to bodily condition, and I suppose
> > is connected with the Latin coipus. Sagashuate, as far as I
> > know, is not used outside of this or similar expressions, and
> > here it would seem to mean to thrive or prosper.'
>
> > In Walt Kelly's marvelous comic strip "Pogo Possum' the characters
> > would sometimes greet each other in this way...
>
> > PS. My spell checker recognizes both spellings of the verb!
...

> I should think "sagashuate" is a verb formed from "sagacious", which
> seems to have meant "good" as well as "wise" in C19 and not to have been
> used much since. The Dog Crusoe was called "sagacious" by his master in
> one of the two RM Ballantyne adventures I was able to get hold of as a
> child. A Lab; what did he expect?

Brer Rabbit come prancin' 'long twel he spy de Tar-Baby, en den he fotch
up on his behime legs like he wuz 'stonished. De Tar Baby, she sot dar,
she did, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"'Mawnin'!' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee - 'nice wedder dis mawnin',' sezee.

"Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nuthin', en Brer Fox he lay low.

"'How duz yo' sym'tums seem ter segashuate?' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

"Brer Fox, he wink his eye slow, en lay low, en de Tar-Baby, she ain't
sayin' nuthin'.

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ug97/remus/tar-baby.html

--
Jerry Friedman

Robin Bignall

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Oct 11, 2013, 7:34:50 PM10/11/13
to
Parsons, who his showbiz friends are always taking the piss out of,
celebrated his 90th birthday this week, and over 60 years in showbiz.
I wonder if that's getting on for a record.
--
Robin Bignall
Herts, England (BrE)

Richard Yates

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Oct 11, 2013, 10:20:36 PM10/11/13
to
Still has a ways to go to match George Burns, entertainer from about
1910 to 1996.

Mack A. Damia

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Oct 11, 2013, 10:45:36 PM10/11/13
to
"Say goodnight, Gracie."

--


R H Draney

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Oct 12, 2013, 2:56:54 AM10/12/13
to
Richard Yates filted:
But retired for a number of years after Gracie's death before returning to the
business for "The Sunshine Boys"....

We had a form of this question some years ago on alt.movies.silent...I asked, in
reference to Lillian Gish, whether anyone had a longer movie career (Miss Gish's
ran from 1912's "An Unseen Enemy" to 1987's "The Whales of August" with at least
a few film appearances in each decade between)...75 years looked to be the
record until David Totheroh, a member of the group, reminded us that his father
Jack (son of Rollie Totheroh, one of Chaplin's favorite cinematographers) had
played the title role in the 1915 Broncho Billy Anderson western "The Bachelor's
Baby", and had a bit part as a cameraman in 1992's "Chaplin"....

Jack Totheroh, however, didn't appear in any movies between 1922 and 1992....r

Peter Duncanson [BrE]

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Oct 12, 2013, 7:14:05 AM10/12/13
to
On Sat, 12 Oct 2013 00:34:50 +0100, Robin Bignall
<docr...@ntlworld.com> wrote:

Bruce Forsyth is only 85 but he has been in showbiz for 74 years.
Perhaps having a wife aged 53 helps to keep him frisky.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Forsyth



--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)

CDB

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Oct 12, 2013, 7:48:09 AM10/12/13
to
On 11/10/2013 6:37 PM, Jerry Friedman wrote:

[sagashuating the copperosities]

> Brer Rabbit come prancin' 'long twel he spy de Tar-Baby, en den he fotch
> up on his behime legs like he wuz 'stonished. De Tar Baby, she sot dar,
> she did, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

> "'Mawnin'!' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee - 'nice wedder dis mawnin',' sezee.

> "Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nuthin', en Brer Fox he lay low.

> "'How duz yo' sym'tums seem ter segashuate?' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

> "Brer Fox, he wink his eye slow, en lay low, en de Tar-Baby, she ain't
> sayin' nuthin'.

> http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ug97/remus/tar-baby.html

I like it because it has a storyteller's rhythm and poetry that make use
of the (artificial) dialect's non-standard features, but I can see how a
Black person might get the same feeling from it that Art Linklater used
to give me in broadcasts of _Kids Say the Darndest Things_ when I was a
kid. Too damned amusing, we were.


Robin Bignall

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Oct 12, 2013, 11:28:35 AM10/12/13
to
I'm impressed with these numbers, but have never seen George Burns or
Gracie Allen.

Mack A. Damia

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Oct 12, 2013, 12:11:39 PM10/12/13
to
On Sat, 12 Oct 2013 16:28:35 +0100, Robin Bignall
<docr...@ntlworld.com> wrote:

>On Sat, 12 Oct 2013 12:14:05 +0100, "Peter Duncanson [BrE]"
><ma...@peterduncanson.net> wrote:
>
>>On Sat, 12 Oct 2013 00:34:50 +0100, Robin Bignall
>><docr...@ntlworld.com> wrote:
>>
>>>On 11 Oct 2013 15:23:08 -0700, R H Draney <dado...@spamcop.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>>Dr Nick filted:
>>>>>
>>>>>Peter Moylan <pe...@pmoylan.org.invalid> writes:
>>>>>
>>>>>> It took me a minute too, for a different reason. There used to be a TV
>>>>>> show called The Nicholas Parsons Show. Subsequently someone came up with
>>>>>> another TV show, almost certainly playing on the title of the first one,
>>>>>> called The Naked Vicar Show.
>>>>>
>>>>>"And now, a lady who like Nicholas Parsons; and a parson who likes
>>>>>knickerless ladies". The Two Ronnies, obviously.
>>>>
>>>>Was that the programme that kept confusing Flushing Meadows with WC Fields?...r
>>>
>>>Parsons, who his showbiz friends are always taking the piss out of,
>>>celebrated his 90th birthday this week, and over 60 years in showbiz.
>>>I wonder if that's getting on for a record.
>>
>>Bruce Forsyth is only 85 but he has been in showbiz for 74 years.
>>Perhaps having a wife aged 53 helps to keep him frisky.
>>
>>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Forsyth
>
>I'm impressed with these numbers, but have never seen George Burns or
>Gracie Allen.

One of the great love affairs in entertainment history. He called
her, "Googie", and she called him, "Natty". His original name was
Nathan Birnbaum.

Very popular TV show and ahead of its time. He had his own "den",
where he watched the action of his wife and others on TV in a comedic
episode, and he's talk to the audience. He'd comment on what was
going on, but Gracie always got the better of him in the end.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CoYC1QhjgI

Her reasoning was obtusely humorous - but it usually made sense. When
a guest said he was from a town in Illinois, she said (living in
California), "I'm glad I didn't live there!". The guest asked why,
and she replied, "It would be so far to walk to school." The
announcer, Harry von Zell, became befuddled by her answers on numerous
occasions.

Here's a show. Many more on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QO_StXExqU

--




Mike L

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Oct 12, 2013, 4:47:44 PM10/12/13
to
On Sat, 12 Oct 2013 12:14:05 +0100, "Peter Duncanson [BrE]"
<ma...@peterduncanson.net> wrote:

A merciful Providence, or an unfeeling blind chance, has ensured that
Forsyth appears only in TV programmes I don't watch: he makes me feel
slightly contaminated.

--
Mike.

Robert Bannister

unread,
Oct 12, 2013, 6:30:56 PM10/12/13
to
One of the few American comedy shows that I really, really liked. What I
can't remember, however, is how they came to be on British television.
They were definitely in black and white, and it was, I think, before I
left home, so presumably in the 50s. It was only a shortish segment if I
remember correctly - presumably part of another show - but I don't
remember any American variety shows at that time.

--
Robert Bannister

Robert Bannister

unread,
Oct 12, 2013, 6:44:42 PM10/12/13
to
In the shows I remember, George was always seated. I presume they were a
fair bit older then. I suppose what we saw were short film clips posted
over.

--
Robert Bannister

Robin Bignall

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Oct 12, 2013, 7:27:23 PM10/12/13
to
Wonderful. I've bookmarked the lot for watching when I have time.
Message has been deleted
Message has been deleted

Mack A. Damia

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Oct 12, 2013, 8:17:47 PM10/12/13
to
On Sun, 13 Oct 2013 00:01:17 +0000 (UTC), Lewis
<g.k...@gmail.com.dontsendmecopies> wrote:

>In message <rpdh59pmrfnsa6hns...@4ax.com>
>Goodnight, Gracie.

And she never said that. Ever.

But Dan Rowan would repeat, "Say goodnight Dick", to Dick Martin at
the end of every Laugh In show, and Dick would say, "Goodnight, Dick".

--


Mack A. Damia

unread,
Oct 12, 2013, 8:24:12 PM10/12/13
to
On Sun, 13 Oct 2013 00:27:23 +0100, Robin Bignall
I saw that one of the YouTube clips had Jack Benny as a guest on one
of the shows. Haven't watched it but I imagine there would be a lot
of laughs. Benny was another hoot.

--


Peter T. Daniels

unread,
Oct 12, 2013, 11:19:06 PM10/12/13
to
On Saturday, October 12, 2013 8:01:17 PM UTC-4, Lewis wrote:
> In message <rpdh59pmrfnsa6hns...@4ax.com>
> Mack A Damia <mybaco...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Goodnight, Gracie.

That's like "Play it again, Sam." Gracie never said "Goodnight, Gracie."

Dick Martin did say "Goodnight, Dick," under similar circumstances, every week.

Robin Bignall

unread,
Oct 13, 2013, 9:55:45 AM10/13/13
to
On Sat, 12 Oct 2013 17:24:12 -0700, Mack A. Damia
Now him I do know, from the radio in the late '40s. He was always a
welcome visitor to Britain, particularly as he had perfected the art of
getting to the age of 39 and staying there.

Mack A. Damia

unread,
Oct 13, 2013, 1:46:29 PM10/13/13
to
On Sun, 13 Oct 2013 14:55:45 +0100, Robin Bignall
And he was a tightwad with his money in his TV personna. On his
weekly TV show, he had a vault in the cellar complete with a moat and
alligators, I think.

And what a deadpan look at certain times.

--


Peter T. Daniels

unread,
Oct 13, 2013, 3:22:11 PM10/13/13
to
On Sunday, October 13, 2013 1:46:29 PM UTC-4, Mack A. Damia wrote:
> On Sun, 13 Oct 2013 14:55:45 +0100, Robin Bignall
> <docr...@ntlworld.com> wrote:
> >On Sat, 12 Oct 2013 17:24:12 -0700, Mack A. Damia
> ><mybaco...@hotmail.com> wrote:

> >> [Jack] Benny was another hoot.
>
> >Now him I do know, from the radio in the late '40s. He was always a
> >welcome visitor to Britain, particularly as he had perfected the art of
> >getting to the age of 39 and staying there.
>
> And he was a tightwad with his money in his TV personna. On his
> weekly TV show, he had a vault in the cellar complete with a moat and
> alligators, I think.

It was much more persuasive on the radio.

Peter Moylan

unread,
Oct 15, 2013, 12:42:08 AM10/15/13
to
The Two Ronnies did something similar. One of them would say "Now it's
good night from me", and the other would continue with "and it's
goodnight from him".

dbre...@gmail.com

unread,
May 14, 2015, 9:59:19 AM5/14/15
to
On Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 1:32:16 AM UTC-5, isb...@gmail.com wrote:
> My mother, born in 1929 in Texas and raised in Oklahoma use to say copperosity all the time. She used it to refer to your rear-end ... but always with a twinkle in her Irish eyes.

My grandfather used copperosity to refer to the butt as well. "Stop running or you'll fall on your copperosity!"

Peter T. Daniels

unread,
May 14, 2015, 10:32:34 AM5/14/15
to
Curious. This gmail-user replied not to the first message, from 2002, but to
the first message from the gmail-user who exhumed it in 2013.

Peter Duncanson [BrE]

unread,
May 14, 2015, 10:36:51 AM5/14/15
to
"copperosity" is discussed by Mark Liberman in Langiage Log:
http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/000166.html

On this web page[1], one Mike Schwitzgebel cites his Ohio
grandfather's use of the word "copperosity". He tracks this via the
OED to corporosity, "Bulkiness of body. Also used in a humorous
title or greeting', with a citation to James Joyce Ulysses 418 "Your
corporosity sagaciating O K?". This in turn is apparently a
reference to Joel Chandler Harris' The Tar Baby and other Tales of
Uncle Remus, where "copperosity" and "segashuate" represent the
African-American vernacular pronunciations of these words.

[1] That link is dead. This looks to be the new home of Mike
Schwitzgebel's website:
http://www.copperosity.com/home/copperosity.htm

Charles Bishop

unread,
May 14, 2015, 11:12:59 AM5/14/15
to
In article <27e11463-8237-4bb0...@googlegroups.com>,
From "copper-bottomed", referring to boats, maybe?

--
charles

Dr Nick

unread,
May 14, 2015, 1:49:31 PM5/14/15
to
"Peter Duncanson [BrE]" <ma...@peterduncanson.net> writes:

> On Thu, 14 May 2015 06:59:16 -0700 (PDT), dbre...@gmail.com wrote:
>
>>On Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 1:32:16 AM UTC-5, isb...@gmail.com wrote:
>>> My mother, born in 1929 in Texas and raised in Oklahoma use to say copperosity all the time. She used it to refer to your rear-end ... but always with a twinkle in her Irish eyes.
>>
>>My grandfather used copperosity to refer to the butt as well. "Stop running or you'll fall on your copperosity!"
>
> "copperosity" is discussed by Mark Liberman in Langiage Log:
> http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/000166.html
>
> On this web page[1], one Mike Schwitzgebel cites his Ohio
> grandfather's use of the word "copperosity". He tracks this via the
> OED to corporosity, "Bulkiness of body. Also used in a humorous
> title or greeting', with a citation to James Joyce Ulysses 418 "Your
> corporosity sagaciating O K?". This in turn is apparently a
> reference to Joel Chandler Harris' The Tar Baby and other Tales of
> Uncle Remus, where "copperosity" and "segashuate" represent the
> African-American vernacular pronunciations of these words.

I've heard "corporation" to refer to a stoutness.

I'd have guessed it was something to do with "copper bottomed" (whether
linked to Nicholas or not).

Peter Duncanson [BrE]

unread,
May 14, 2015, 4:32:38 PM5/14/15
to
Yes. Specifically a "well-built" belly.

OED:

6. The body; the abdomen; esp. when large and prominent. colloq. and
vulgar.

The word "corporation" used to be used in BrE for:
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/corporation

A group of people elected to govern a city, town, or borough:
"the City of London Corporation"

Those two definitions converged in jokes about "the mayor and his
corporation".

>I'd have guessed it was something to do with "copper bottomed" (whether
>linked to Nicholas or not).

Peter Moylan

unread,
May 14, 2015, 10:04:31 PM5/14/15
to
On 15/05/15 03:50, Dr Nick wrote:

> I've heard "corporation" to refer to a stoutness.

I sometimes call one of my cats Sir Cumference.

> I'd have guessed it was something to do with "copper bottomed" (whether
> linked to Nicholas or not).

Nicholas? Is this a reference to Copper-knickers"?

--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Peter Moylan

unread,
May 14, 2015, 10:05:14 PM5/14/15
to
See! A gmail user.

Peter T. Daniels

unread,
May 14, 2015, 11:16:02 PM5/14/15
to
On Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 10:05:14 PM UTC-4, Peter Moylan wrote:
> On 14/05/15 23:59, dbre...@gmail.com wrote:
> > On Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 1:32:16 AM UTC-5, isb...@gmail.com wrote:

> >> My mother, born in 1929 in Texas and raised in Oklahoma use to say copperosity all the time. She used it to refer to your rear-end ... but always with a twinkle in her Irish eyes.
> > My grandfather used copperosity to refer to the butt as well. "Stop running or you'll fall on your copperosity!"
>
> See! A gmail user.

Noted (11 hours earlier).

Dr Nick

unread,
May 15, 2015, 1:59:46 AM5/15/15
to
Peter Moylan <pe...@pmoylan.org> writes:

> On 15/05/15 03:50, Dr Nick wrote:
>
>> I've heard "corporation" to refer to a stoutness.
>
> I sometimes call one of my cats Sir Cumference.
>
>> I'd have guessed it was something to do with "copper bottomed" (whether
>> linked to Nicholas or not).
>
> Nicholas? Is this a reference to Copper-knickers"?

Nickle-arse == copper-bottom.

Mike Barnes

unread,
May 15, 2015, 2:44:16 AM5/15/15
to
Peter Moylan wrote:
> On 14/05/15 23:59, dbre...@gmail.com wrote:
>> On Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 1:32:16 AM UTC-5, isb...@gmail.com wrote:
>>> My mother, born in 1929 in Texas and raised in Oklahoma use to
>>> say copperosity all the time. She used it to refer to your
>>> rear-end ... but always with a twinkle in her Irish eyes.
>>
>> My grandfather used copperosity to refer to the butt as well. "Stop
>> running or you'll fall on your copperosity!"
>
> See! A gmail user.

Is that a reference to the quoting style?

--
Mike Barnes
Cheshire, England

Guy Barry

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May 15, 2015, 3:01:32 AM5/15/15
to
"Mike Barnes" wrote in message news:crlitt...@mid.individual.net...
No, it's a reference to the age of the post that was quoted. (Although
eighteen months seems a bit recent by some standards.)

--
Guy Barry

Guy Barry

unread,
May 15, 2015, 3:04:43 AM5/15/15
to
"Guy Barry" wrote in message news:eRg5x.707912$_Q7.5...@fx28.am4...
>
>"Mike Barnes" wrote in message news:crlitt...@mid.individual.net...

>>Is that a reference to the quoting style?
>
>No, it's a reference to the age of the post that was quoted. (Although
>eighteen months seems a bit recent by some standards.)

Incidentally, I'm pretty certain that the old Google Groups wouldn't let you
reply to messages that were older than some set length of time. I wonder
why they dropped the restriction when it was revamped?

--
Guy Barry

Peter Moylan

unread,
May 15, 2015, 5:50:10 AM5/15/15
to
Thanks. That didn't occur to me because I have a slightly different
pronunciation of the name. Nicholas reminds me of knickerless parsons.

Peter Moylan

unread,
May 15, 2015, 5:52:33 AM5/15/15
to
It was also a reference to one of PTD's idées fixes, but I see that he
got in before me anyway, in a post that hadn't reached me at the time I
made mine.

Guy Barry

unread,
May 15, 2015, 6:07:34 AM5/15/15
to
"Peter Moylan" wrote in message news:mj4fis$fka$3...@dont-email.me...
In one way, PTD is right. When did you last see an ancient post brought up
by someone who wasn't a gmail user? As I've said a couple of times now,
people who are new to Google Groups seem to use gmail addresses far more
often than other addresses, and those new to Google Groups are more likely
to unearth old posts (for reasons given by Sneaky O. Possum). Hence the
apparent correlation between use of gmail and the resurrection of old posts.

Correlation does not, however, imply causation.

--
Guy Barry

David Kleinecke

unread,
May 15, 2015, 7:14:24 PM5/15/15
to
On Friday, May 15, 2015 at 3:07:34 AM UTC-7, Guy Barry wrote:

> In one way, PTD is right. When did you last see an ancient post brought up
> by someone who wasn't a gmail user?

I remain confused how does a "gmail user" post to the group other than
via Google groups. If there is no such way then nobody should be called a
gmail user - they are GG users.

Snidely

unread,
May 16, 2015, 3:30:35 AM5/16/15
to
on 5/15/2015, David Kleinecke supposed :
Well, when I'm at home I don't usually post via GG, but I'm still a
gmail user.

/dps

--
Trust, but verify.

Dr Nick

unread,
May 16, 2015, 3:48:35 AM5/16/15
to
Peter Moylan <pe...@pmoylan.org> writes:

> On 15/05/15 16:00, Dr Nick wrote:
>> Peter Moylan <pe...@pmoylan.org> writes:
>>
>>> On 15/05/15 03:50, Dr Nick wrote:
>>>
>>>> I've heard "corporation" to refer to a stoutness.
>>>
>>> I sometimes call one of my cats Sir Cumference.
>>>
>>>> I'd have guessed it was something to do with "copper bottomed" (whether
>>>> linked to Nicholas or not).
>>>
>>> Nicholas? Is this a reference to Copper-knickers"?
>>
>> Nickle-arse == copper-bottom.
>
> Thanks. That didn't occur to me because I have a slightly different
> pronunciation of the name. Nicholas reminds me of knickerless parsons.

It doesn't quite work for me (and it is a name I'm moderately familiar
with) but it's close enough for a pun.

Guy Barry

unread,
May 16, 2015, 4:01:30 AM5/16/15
to
"David Kleinecke" wrote in message
news:b93f2e8f-ec2b-48dd...@googlegroups.com...
>
>On Friday, May 15, 2015 at 3:07:34 AM UTC-7, Guy Barry wrote:
>
>> In one way, PTD is right. When did you last see an ancient post brought
>> up
>> by someone who wasn't a gmail user?
>
>I remain confused how does a "gmail user" post to the group other than
>via Google groups.

I'm talking about gmail users who post via Google groups, not other gmail
users.

>If there is no such way then nobody should be called a
>gmail user - they are GG users.

They use gmail for their email address and GG for posting to Usenet, so
they're both.

--
Guy Barry

David Kleinecke

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May 16, 2015, 8:15:27 PM5/16/15
to
Yes, anyone who posts via GG probably uses gmail for email.

But people here keep referring to gmail users as a class of people who
are accessing Usenet. I don't use gmail to access Usenet I use GG - which
is something quite different than gmail.

Why does anyone refer to a person accessing via GG as a gmail user?

Jerry Friedman

unread,
May 16, 2015, 11:24:50 PM5/16/15
to
On 5/16/15 6:15 PM, David Kleinecke wrote:
> On Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 1:01:30 AM UTC-7, Guy Barry wrote:
>> "David Kleinecke" wrote in message
>> news:b93f2e8f-ec2b-48dd...@googlegroups.com...
>>>
>>> On Friday, May 15, 2015 at 3:07:34 AM UTC-7, Guy Barry wrote:
>>>
>>>> In one way, PTD is right. When did you last see an ancient post brought
>>>> up
>>>> by someone who wasn't a gmail user?
>>>
>>> I remain confused how does a "gmail user" post to the group other than
>>> via Google groups.
>>
>> I'm talking about gmail users who post via Google groups, not other gmail
>> users.
>>
>>> If there is no such way then nobody should be called a
>>> gmail user - they are GG users.
>>
>> They use gmail for their email address and GG for posting to Usenet, so
>> they're both.
>>
>> --
>> Guy Barry
>
> Yes, anyone who posts via GG probably uses gmail for email.
...

Really? I use GG when I'm at work and mostly use yahoo for e-mail (though
I did post something here using my gmail address recently).

--
Jerry Friedman

Peter T. Daniels

unread,
May 17, 2015, 2:27:00 AM5/17/15
to
On Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 8:15:27 PM UTC-4, David Kleinecke wrote:
> On Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 1:01:30 AM UTC-7, Guy Barry wrote:
> > "David Kleinecke" wrote in message
> > news:b93f2e8f-ec2b-48dd...@googlegroups.com...
> > >On Friday, May 15, 2015 at 3:07:34 AM UTC-7, Guy Barry wrote:

> > >> In one way, PTD is right. When did you last see an ancient post brought
> > >> up
> > >> by someone who wasn't a gmail user?
> > >I remain confused how does a "gmail user" post to the group other than
> > >via Google groups.
> > I'm talking about gmail users who post via Google groups, not other gmail
> > users.
> > >If there is no such way then nobody should be called a
> > They use gmail for their email address and GG for posting to Usenet, so
> > they're both.
>
> Yes, anyone who posts via GG probably uses gmail for email.
>
> But people here keep referring to gmail users as a class of people who
> are accessing Usenet. I don't use gmail to access Usenet I use GG - which
> is something quite different than gmail.
>
> Why does anyone refer to a person accessing via GG as a gmail user?

Because the offenders' gmail addresses are displayed in their bylines.

My few-months' experience with Chrome (the Best Buy Geek Squad switched me to
it when Internet Explorer was acting up) that I have no desire whatsoever to
get involved in gmail. Plus it presumably generates even more advertising than
Verizon Yahoo festoons the email page with.

Guy Barry

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May 17, 2015, 3:45:18 AM5/17/15
to
"David Kleinecke" wrote in message
news:321d1093-9995-4b37...@googlegroups.com...
>
>On Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 1:01:30 AM UTC-7, Guy Barry wrote:
>> "David Kleinecke" wrote in message
>> news:b93f2e8f-ec2b-48dd...@googlegroups.com...
>> >
>> >On Friday, May 15, 2015 at 3:07:34 AM UTC-7, Guy Barry wrote:
>> >
>> >> In one way, PTD is right. When did you last see an ancient post
>> >> brought
>> >> up
>> >> by someone who wasn't a gmail user?
>> >
>> >I remain confused how does a "gmail user" post to the group other than
>> >via Google groups.
>>
>> I'm talking about gmail users who post via Google groups, not other gmail
>> users.
>>
>> >If there is no such way then nobody should be called a
>> >gmail user - they are GG users.
>>
>> They use gmail for their email address and GG for posting to Usenet, so
>> they're both.

>Yes, anyone who posts via GG probably uses gmail for email.

No, not "anyone". PTD doesn't.

>But people here keep referring to gmail users as a class of people who
>are accessing Usenet. I don't use gmail to access Usenet I use GG - which
>is something quite different than gmail.
>
>Why does anyone refer to a person accessing via GG as a gmail user?

Because they use gmail for their email address.

--
Guy Barry