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Beaucoup new entries in Quarterly Update 4 !

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The fourth Quarterly Update features the usual wide variety of new and revised words and phrases, but there are a couple of major themes in this set. One is food items with intriguing—if not always appetizing!—names, like beaten biscuit, Belgian pie, belly-guts, and Biloxi bacon. The biggest group, though, is made up of terms for a slingshot. Research that began with bean-shooter soon led to other synonyms, and in the end nearly all the entries in the original text of DARE for this meaning had been greatly expanded, and many new ones added. Not surprisingly, old newspapers, always a rich source for anything that can cause injury or property damage, provide most of the evidence for the early history of these terms—and for the destructive habits of small boys.

On a more serious note, two of the terms display a casual racism that would now be universally—we hope—regarded as offensive. We remind you that our intention is not to offend, but, as always, to record objectively the facts of usage. Like any historical work, a historical dictionary occasionally confronts the reader with unpleasant facts, and would not be doing its job if it did not.

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