Quarterly Update 4, Spring 2016

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.

—George Goebel, Chief Editor

Headword Part of Speech Update Type
balsam tree n Revised Entry
balsam n Revised Sense
beaner n Revised Sense, New Sense, Revised Sense
bean-flipper n New Entry
bean-shooter n Revised Entry
bean-snapper n New Entry
beany n Revised Entry
bear cat n Revised Entry
bear claw n Revised Entry
bear fighter n Revised Entry
beat the hound out of v phr Revised Entry
beaten biscuit n Revised Entry
beaucoup adj, n, adv Revised Entry
beazlestone n Revised Entry
bed n Revised Sense
bedfast adj Revised Entry
bedrid adj Revised Entry
beef from bull’s foot, not to know v phr Revised Entry
beggars’ night n Revised Entry
being conj Revised Sense, New Senses
Belgian pie n New Entry
bell a buzzard v phr Revised Entry
bell-tail n Revised Entry
belly flower n New Entry
belly-guts n Revised Entry
belly-wax n Revised Entry
Berlinerkrans n Revised Entry
betsy bug n Revised Entry
beyond prep, adv Revised Sense, New Senses
bid whist n Revised Entry
big hominy n Revised Entry
biggity adj Revised Entry
biggity adv Revised Entry
Biloxi bacon n New Entry
bilsted n New Entry
bog owl n New Entry
briggity adj Revised Entry
carry guts to a bear v phr Revised Entry
cutter n New Sense
dinger n1 Revised Sense
flip n1 Revised Sense
flipper crotch n New Entry
flipper n1 Revised Sense
gravel-flipper n Revised Entry
gravel-shooter n New Entry
gum shooter n New Entry
nigger-flipper n New Entry
nigger-shooter n Revised Entry
rubber flipper n New Entry
rubber shooter n New Entry
rubber snapper n New Entry