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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Letters and Communications > Dear Boss Letter

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  #11  
Old 03-04-2012, 09:27 PM
Archaic Archaic is offline
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Wink "Buckled"

Hi Bridewell, Robert, Cris, Jon and CD! Knowing that I love exploring the origins of old slang, a friend sent me this thread.

The term "Buckled" meant to be caught, arrested, forced to yield, and even married!

These two definitions are from an 1874 dictionary-

1. "Buckled, to be married, or to be taken into custody. Both uses of the word common and interchangeable among the London lower classes. "

(Seeing as "halter" was slang for "altar", one can see how this dual usage came about. Interestingly, "halter" was also slang for the hangman's rope.)

2. "Buckle, to bend. “I can’t buckle to that.” To yield or give in to a person. Shakespeare used the word in the latter sense in ‘Henry IV.'’"


I also found these related terms:

"Bucklers: Fetters."

"Buckler: Collar (presumably as in an “iron collar”, which often accompanied fetters."


(The word "Fetters'' refers to the heavy iron leg bands, manacles, chains, etc., used in the old days before modern handcuffs.)

Gee, I kinda miss the old "LVP Slang" thread we used to do!

Take care everybody,
Archaic
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  #12  
Old 03-04-2012, 10:16 PM
Jon Guy Jon Guy is offline
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Hi Lynn

Quote:
Originally Posted by lynn cates View Post
Of course, there's still "Boss" and "fix."
Some examples of Boss and Fix from the Old Bailey Online.

1859:

MR. ATKINSON. Q. What is the meaning of the word "tumble?" A. "Know us;" "I told you he would know us."
COURT. Q. Does it mean Fix on us?" A. Yes; it is a word I have repeatedly heard used among thieves.


1883:

WILLIAM OLDHAMPSTEAD (City Detective). On 30th July I saw the prisoner in a cart opposite the Tower—I said to him "Boss, I want to speak to you; I am going to take you into custody for being concerned with two other men, who have been convicted, for obtaining a quantity of goods from Messrs. Outram, of 13, Watling Street, on the 19th instant

1883:

about noon the prisoner said to me "Your boss is not about, if you will give me six bags I will give you half-a-sovereign; you may as well have that for stopping out in the cold"—
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  #13  
Old 03-04-2012, 10:30 PM
ChrisGeorge ChrisGeorge is offline
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Hi Jon

Great finds here of the use of "buckled," "fix" and "boss" in the Old Bailey Online, particularly before 1888. Well done. I have never thought that the use of "boss" was particularly American as has often been said.

Chris
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  #14  
Old 03-04-2012, 11:09 PM
Beowulf Beowulf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
Hi Jon

Great finds here of the use of "buckled," "fix" and "boss" in the Old Bailey Online, particularly before 1888. Well done. I have never thought that the use of "boss" was particularly American as has often been said.

Chris
Actually, I feel the same way, but in looking on the net I found this:

"Boss is Dutch in origin and is a bastardization of the Dutch "base." Its use was a uniquely American way of avoiding the word "master," which had quickly become associated with slavery by the mid-19th century. Of course, bosses are far from slave drivers (though I know a few people who would love to argue that point), so the new Dutch word was a convenient moniker for the rising capitalistic equivalent of the corporate figurehead.

However, that is not to say that an Englishman couldn't adopt an American term. The world is quite small these days and it happens all the time."

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question...8114300AAOxOvr

http://books.google.com/books?id=peQ...master&f=false
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  #15  
Old 03-04-2012, 11:32 PM
ChrisGeorge ChrisGeorge is offline
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The findng of these terms in the Old Bailey Online might reinforce the idea that the person who wrote "Dear Boss" was a court reporter who was used to the terms used in the criminal underworld.
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  #16  
Old 03-04-2012, 11:53 PM
Stephen Thomas Stephen Thomas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaic View Post
"Buckled, to be married, or to be taken into custody. Both uses of the word common and interchangeable among the London lower classes. "[/b]
Hi Archaic

I think the general meaning of the word is 'to be restrained/tied up' which would obviously be applied to criminals but I think that there are only two usages these days which involve doing up one's belt buckle and not crumbling under pressure.

All the best as always
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  #17  
Old 03-05-2012, 12:46 AM
lynn cates lynn cates is offline
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Default slang

Hello Bunny. Nice to see you back. Hope you are well.

Thanks for posting that. Maybe a new slang thread soon?

Cheers.
LC
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  #18  
Old 03-05-2012, 12:50 AM
lynn cates lynn cates is offline
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Default fix

Hello Jon. Thanks for those. Regarding "fix" there is certainly a correct British use for it. As you recall, Dickens (I believe in his "American Notes") claimed it meant "to set in a definite place." Then he chastised the Americans for using it in all the wrong ways--"to repair"; "to serve as a side dish"; etc.

Cheers.
LC
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  #19  
Old 03-05-2012, 12:52 AM
lynn cates lynn cates is offline
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Default American

Hello Beowulf. So you regard the term as American then?

Cheers.
LC
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  #20  
Old 03-05-2012, 01:02 AM
Beowulf Beowulf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynn cates View Post
Hello Beowulf. So you regard the term as American then?

Cheers.
LC
Well, I'm not sure. I was simply putting this up there because of the antiquated definition as coming from the Dutch, thought it was interesting, and also because if it came from the Dutch, why then is it regarded as American, in the 1880s, except it was then used often over here, which I cannot say one way or another.

However, I know that when it comes to statements made about how Americans seem to, uh, 'not Americans', lol, it does seem that the public image is regarded as using slang and not much for proper English. Kind of the disrespectful, cocky American. I think maybe back then the same was the general public opinion of us, as to the reality of it, I have no idea.

But I can see a reporter trying to make the letter seem American by using words to fake people out.

Then again, maybe we do talk that way and I just don't see it. I sound like Tolkien's elves, they say both sides when you ask for an opinion. Sorry.
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