Ham and egger
Posted: 07 December 2013 12:26 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Just came across this expression in an article on Coffee Dan’s.

It was Prohibition and Coffee Dan’s was now a “ham & egger.” Ham & egger was code for a speakeasy, and Dan’s sold more ham and eggs than anyone in the city.

Nothing in OED however, which defines the phrase thus:

ham-and-egger n. U.S. slang (freq. depreciative) a person or thing regarded as average, mediocre, or (occas.) stupid or inferior; spec. (esp. in early use) an average or incompetent boxer (cf. sense A. 5).

1911 Chicago Tribune 27 Apr. 21/2 [Jack] Johnson started home on the Overland, but was switched at Omaha to a train he designated as a ‘ham and egger’.
1930 Amer. Mercury Jan. 104/2 G’wan beat it before I get up an’ knock you two ham-an’-eggers down the stairs!
1968 Films in Rev. Dec. 647/2 The then heavyweight champion plays around in a staged ‘fight’ with a ham-n-egger from New Jersey.
1999 J. Grisham Testament 324 Because they were big-firm lawyers they quite naturally looked down upon the type of unethical behavior being..condoned by Grits and Bright and the other ham-and-eggers.

I hadn’t heard of that sense either. Did the OED just miss the speakeasy sense or was it perhaps slang peculiar to the SF area?

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Posted: 07 December 2013 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I haven’t heard of either sense.

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Posted: 08 December 2013 07:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The Cassell Dictionary of Slang has only “(US orig. boxing) an ordinary, run-of-the-mill person or an incompetent individual. [SE ham and eggs, the image is of its commonness].”

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Posted: 08 December 2013 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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[SE ham and eggs, the image is of its commonness].”

What does “SE” mean?

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Posted: 08 December 2013 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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SE = “standard English”

Nothing on ham and egger in Green’s Dictionary of Slang. Unfortunately I’m away from my HDAS at the moment.

On further search, Green’s does have it: “an ordinary, run-of-the-mill person or an incompetent individual; thus a second-rate contest.”

First citation:

1919 Wilkins Co. Fund 10: Geweh! you hamandegger [HDAS].

For the second-rate contest it has:

1952 J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 21: He wanted time to mature his style and season it without being overmatched in some ham and egger.

[ Edited: 08 December 2013 10:27 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 08 December 2013 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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On further search, Green’s does have it:

So do you like Green’s ham-and-egger?

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Posted: 08 December 2013 04:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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OP Tipping - 08 December 2013 03:08 PM

On further search, Green’s does have it:

So do you like Green’s ham-and-egger?

out of the park, OP!

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Posted: 09 December 2013 06:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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For those who don’t get the reference.

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Posted: 09 December 2013 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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muito obrigato, lh.

(green eggs and ham don’t cut much ice down my way ;-)

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Posted: 09 December 2013 07:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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languagehat - 09 December 2013 06:49 AM

For those who don’t get the reference.

LH, I thought you were going to explain my reference. “Out of the park” refers to hitting a home run in baseball “out of the park” so that it can’t be retrieved by outfielders. Do they do baseball in Antipondia?

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