Cornhole
Posted: 08 October 2016 03:49 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Okay, I’m getting used to being at a university where football (American style) is a big thing. We didn’t have a football team at Toronto. (If they did, I never heard about it.)

But evidently the College Gameday Cornhole Challenge is a thing. Here’s an explanation. I think they could have picked a better name, though.

Not to be confused with cornballing.

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Posted: 08 October 2016 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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New to me. There’s some speculative discussion on this etymology board from which I quote:

The Google Books search for “cornhole” between 1900-1965 reveals usage as anal sexing or people’s names. The earliest sex reference in their list seems to be 1951 with “Don’t let him cornhole you!” Moving the search to 1995-2005 begins revealing references to the game. All other date ranges previous involve anal sex, the anus, someone’s name or a literal hole in the ground for corn. (I checked.) Naturally, this doesn’t mean much about its out-of-book uses but it does give some metric.

Checking Etymonline, I was surprised to find this:

cornhole synonymous with “do anal intercourse” by 1930s, apparently the reference is to a game played in the farming regions of the Ohio Valley in the U.S. from 19c., in which players take turns throwing a small bag full of feed corn at a raised platform with a hole in it.

Does the game’s name really predate the word’s other meaning(s)? Where did the other meanings (I’ve seen it used as a noun and a verb) originate? I’m interested in any substantiated clues to the historical development of this Americanism.

The game seems similar to many that are seen at carnivals and fairs.

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Posted: 08 October 2016 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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HDAS has the noun cornhole meaning the anus from 1916–22, and the verb meaning to engage in anal intercourse from 1938.

I have no idea when the name of the game was coined. I was hoping it would be in DARE, but it isn’t, leading me to suspect it postdates the 1970s when the DARE surveys were conducted. All the hits for the game in the Corpus of Contemporary American English postdate 2000.

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Posted: 08 October 2016 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Was the game originally sackloch-spiel? I recall reading somewhere that this was old game from centuries back.

One of the comments in the Forum Aldi links above says; ‘’In rural America, which was an agrarian society originally, people did not have indoor plumbing and instead used an outhouse. They didn’t have toilet paper either, so they had to use whatever was at hand.’’ This is my recollection too. The corn cob was surprisingly comfortable and effective.

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