Huckleberry
Posted: 09 May 2007 12:18 AM   [ Ignore ]
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In the movie Tombstone, Holliday says to a man he is about to fight, “I’m your huckleberry.”

What is meant by this word in this context?

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Posted: 09 May 2007 01:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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"I’m your huckleberry” means “I’m just the man you’re looking for!”
From The “Historical Dictionary of American Slang” , which has about a third of a column of citations documenting this meaning all through the latter 19th century.

“Dictionary of American Slang: Second Supplemented Edition” (Crowell, 1975):

“A man; specif., the exact kind of man needed for a particular purpose. 1936: “Well, I’m your huckleberry, Mr. Haney.” Tully, “Bruiser,” 37. Since 1880, archaic.

I think it was meant to mean he (Doc) was just a tad bit better than the man he was going to fight.

Does that help?

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Posted: 09 May 2007 02:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Previous discussions on huckleberry here and here.

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Posted: 09 May 2007 05:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Also on the Big List.

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Posted: 09 May 2007 04:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The word is by no means common today. The word does seem to have lost its duality of positive and negative connotations in later use. I’ve heard it once in conversation with a guy who was old enough to be a Vietnam vet and interspersed it with “chucklehead” to describe somebody who was kind of a friend but not much good for anything. But then so was the guy who used it. (I guess he had an excuse, him being a crank addict.) I thought he had picked it up from Mark Twain, but apparently not so. Come to think of it, that guy did remind me a bit of Huckleberry Hound. http://www.toontracker.com/huck/huck.htm

Huckleberries grow in very select areas of Northern California. I know of only one hillside, but there must be more, and I daresay the locations are well-kept secrets. I don’t know how East Coast varieties compare. The season lasts for about two weeks. A lady friend of my grandfather’s used to pick them and to get a pie’s worth takes three or so hours of diligent picking. Needless to say I’ve had a real huckleberry pie just a few times in my life, but it is exquisite.

[ Edited: 10 May 2007 01:39 AM by foolscap ]
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Posted: 22 May 2007 07:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks.

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