OUTDATED REFERENCES IN THE MUSIC MAN
Alma Mater - A school from which one has graduated. Anvil - A large piece of iron used by a blacksmith. Armory - A place where arms and military equipment are stored. Balzac - French writer and a founder of the realist school of fiction. Bevo - A non-alcoholic drink that tasted like beer. Big Haul - Refers to money being made by con or criminal activity. Billiards — Similar to pool, played with three balls on a pocketless table. Black Hole of Calcutta - A small prison in India in which more than a hundred Europeans were killed in 1756. Bunion - A swelling of the on the joints of the toes. Button-Hooks - A small hook for fastening a button on shoes or gloves. Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang — For much of the 1920’s, Captain Billy’s was the most prominent comic magazine in America with its mix of racy poetry and naughty jokes and puns. Capulet's Like You... - Reference to Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Cat-Boat in a Hurricane - A small sailboat in a bad storm. Chaucer - English poet regarded as the greatest literary figure of medieval England. Cistern — A tank for catching and storing rainwater. Commodity - Something useful or valued. Conservatory - A school specializing in music or fine arts. Corset - A woman's close-fitting boned supporting undergarment. Cotton Goods - Bolts of fabric. Cubebs - The dried berry of a tropical shrub that was smoked as medicine. Dan Patch — (1897-1916) Most famous trotting horse ever, from Indiana. Del Sarte - French teacher of acting and singing. Fancy Goods - Fabrics of ornamental colors, patterns, nicer than those of a simple or plain color or make. Firkins - A small wooden barrel or covered vessel - used for butter, lard, etc. Flint and Steel - An old fashioned way to make fire by striking the flint against the steel to create a spark. Freight - A train that carries products, rather than people. Frittering — To squander little by little. To waste. The Golden Rule — Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Grecian Urn - A reference to the poem "Ode to a Grecian Urn" by John Keats. Grip - A suitcase or valise. Hard Goods - Products that can be used for several years. Also called durable goods. Hifalutin' - Pretentious or pompous. Horse Race — with a jockey on the horse’s back, much quicker than the trotting race. Jasper — any male fellow or chum, usually a stranger. Jews Harp - A metal musical instrument that is placed in the mouth and plucked. Knickerbockers - Loose-fitting short pants gathered at the knee. Line - Slang for what type work a person does, also what products the salesman sells. Libertine - A freethinker, especially in religious matters. Livery Stable - A stable where horses and vehicles are kept for hire. Mackinaw - A short plaid coat made of thick woolen material. Mandolin Pick - used to sound the strings on a Mandolin. The Maine — U.S. battleship sunk on Feb. 15, 1898 in an incident that helped precipitate the Spanish-American War. Masher - A man who is aggressive in the making amorous advances to women. Minuet in G - A famous classical musical number composed by Ludwig Von Beethoven. Notions - Small lightweight items for household use, such as needles, buttons and thread. Noggins - A small mug or cup. On the Que Veev - Misspelling of French phrase "on the qui vive", meaning on the alert; vigilant: Piggins - A small wooden pail or tub with an upright stave for a handle - often used as a dipper. Pinch-Back Suit — from pinchbeck – an imitation or substitute. Plymouth Rock — Plymouth Rock is on the beach where the Mayflower landed. Pompe-eye - Mayor Shinn is sounding out the word "Pompeii". Pool — Also known as pocket billiards, using a cue ball and 15 object balls on a table with six pockets. Rabalais - French humanist and writer of satirical attacks on medieval scholasticism and superstition. Rag-Time - A style of jazz characterized by syncopated rhythm. Rig - Slang for any carriage or coach. Road Agent - highwayman, pickpocket Rode Out of Town on a Rail - A form of punishment in which a person was tied to a wooden rail, and rolled out of town. Sen Sen - 19th century breath mints. Smite - To strike sharply or heavily. Soft Goods - Textiles, clothing, etc. Also called dry goods. So's Your Old Man - An exclamation, used as a retort to an insult or slur. St. Bridget - Irish abbess; a patron saint of Ireland. Sturgeon - A large fish. Swell - Slang meaning excellent, wonderful, delightful. Swindler - Someone who cheats Tailor Mades - Any cigarette made in a factory on a cigarette making machine. Tank Town - A small town. So called because trains would stop there only to replenish water. Tarred and Feathered - A horrible punishment in which a person was smeared with tar and then rolled in feathers. Thimble Rigger - One who cheats by thimblerigging. Also known as a shell game. Tintype - A photograph reproduced on tin instead of paper. Trotting Race — A horse trained for harness racing. Very genteel pastime. Turtle-Wurtle - Slang for waste of time. The Wells Fargo Wagon - 19th century UPS. The Wells Fargo stagecoach was a symbol of reliable service.
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