BL: galoot
Posted: 15 September 2013 04:37 AM   [ Ignore ]
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He could lam any galoot of his inches in America.

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Posted: 15 September 2013 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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My father refers to the sort of man who seems to have no skills or interests beyond siring children (usually on multiple women) as a “twenty-one son galoot.”

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Posted: 16 September 2013 05:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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the word has an origin Royal Navy slang

Missing “in.”

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Posted: 16 September 2013 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Corrected. Thanks.

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Posted: 16 September 2013 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It appears to have died out in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. My other half (born and bred up next to Cha’am Royal Naval Dockyard, ex-dockyard matey and descendant of three generations of Royal Marine colour sergeants and one matelot) had never heard of it, and I don’t find it in any of the numerous glossaries of ‘Jackspeak’ online.

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Posted: 17 September 2013 08:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I see “galoot” in a poetical work dated 1808, “The Cruise ...” by ‘Naval Officer’ ... at Google Books:

// ... an absolute Galoot, / Raw from the country, ...//

... might mean “raw recruit” or “landlubber” or so.

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Posted: 18 September 2013 12:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I recall that in Arthur Ransome’s 1930 book Swallows and Amazons, about nice middle-class English children sailing dinghies and pretending to be explorers and pirates, young Nancy Blackett diligently peppers her conversation with ‘galoot’, alongside ‘Stir your stumps! ‘ and ‘Shiver my timbers!’ to keep up her ‘Pirate Captain’ persona. Evidently, in 1930 galoot was a word that a middle-class English child - that is, both Ransome’s character and his readers - would instantly recognise as ‘nautical’ (which of course doesn’t mean that actual sailors used it in 1930, any more than they went around exclaiming ‘Shiver my timbers!’.

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Posted: 18 September 2013 02:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Yosemite Sam in his pirate persona would often hurl the epithet at Bugs Bunny: “Ooh, belay there, you long-eared galoot! Get aloft and furl the tatter-sole top gallants before I keelhauls you!” (Mutiny on the Bunny, 1950)

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Posted: 18 September 2013 03:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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D Wilson, thanks for the antedating. I’ve updated the entry.

It’s a rather important one, as it indicates Vaux picked up the term during his sailing career, not from other thieves in London. Thus the naval slang is the origin, not criminal cant. You should submit it to the OED.

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Posted: 18 September 2013 03:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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...I think I now know how galoot arose, but my knowledge is not the result of a goal-oriented effort: I stumbled across the solution by chance.

Although everything is grist that comes to my etymological mill, I try to read only such articles as hold out some promise of containing the material useful to me, for life is short. But a reference to a 1940 publication on the influence of Italian on German caught my fancy (mainly because of my respect for the author), and I decided to look it through. This is what I found there. As early as the 13th century, the Italian word galeot(t)o “sailor; steersman on a galley” became current in French, German, and Dutch and acquired an additional meaning “pirate.”…

from Advice to the Etymologist: Never Lose Heart, or, The Origin of the Word Galoot, by Anatoly Liberman

Liberman speculates that the “word existed in oral form for hundreds of years but managed to escape notice”.

[ Edited: 18 September 2013 03:50 AM by sobiest ]
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Posted: 18 September 2013 04:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thanks for that. I’ve updated it again, this time reorganizing the entry quite a bit, to add Liberman’s hypothesis. I regularly check Liberman’s books for etymologies, but I probably should start searching his blog posts as well.

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Posted: 18 September 2013 05:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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In Spanish, the word galeoto means “a procurer, a pimp”.  It’s an out-of-the-way word, not often heard or seen; alcahuete is the term more commonly used. But there is a play (early 1900’s) by J. de Echegaray entitled El Gran Galeoto, which uses the word in the sense of a pander, or go-between, bringing lovers together. RAE gives “pimp” (alcahuete) as the only meaning of galeoto, and offers as a source (without a citation) a character in a work by Dante Alighieri. The reference appears to be to Paolo and Francesca in the Inferno, where Francesca says at one point that a book of Arthurian romances was the galeotto (i.e. go-between) between her and Paolo.

I don’t quite see how this links up with “galoot”.  Was Dante’s galeotto a sailor? (Edit) perhaps what’s meant is that the book “steered” Paolo and Francesca into each other’s arms?

In English, “galliot” appears to have been a sailing vessel, a kind of galley.

[ Edited: 18 September 2013 05:29 AM by lionello ]
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Posted: 18 September 2013 07:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Tiny nitpick regarding the update: I believe Liberman indicated that the Middle Dutch form was “galioot”, not “galoot.”

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Posted: 18 September 2013 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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So he did. My bad. Thanks.

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Posted: 20 September 2013 05:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I was watching The Wind (1928) yesterday and was amused to see the intertitle “I’ve seen that galoot before - travels fer a packin’ house, don’t he?” Diegogarcity!

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