This past Saturday, KK mentioned a short interview with Jim Bouton on NPR, and while looking for it online (found it, and holy cats, has it really been forty years?), I also happened across this post on Baby Got Books.
As is my occasional wont, I chose a gnat at which to strain, in lieu of the … meat … of the rest of the post. In this case, it was the term road beef, which is apparently the less savory? more succulent? way of referring to Baseball Annies, at least according to that paragon of our modern society, Jose Canseco.
Here is the comment I left over there.
I looked at some of the Google results for “road beef,” and at first, I was going to take you to task for saying Canseco had originated the phrase.
However, the results from long ago appear to be an artifact of (1) the archaic f-for-s substitution and (2) more worryingly, the Google’s OCR’s inability to recognize that “roaft beef” is not “road beef.”
Nonetheless, this bit from 1761 is worth passing along, I think, at least for those who enjoy juvenile double-entendre-ing as much as I do. It’s from p212 of “The London magazine, or, Gentleman’s monthly intelligencer, Volume 30.”
["Road" instead of "Roaft" purposely left in. -bjk]
Air, A lovely Lafs, &c.
Road Beef ! belov’d by all mankind,
If I was doom’d to have thee,
When drefs’d and garnifh’d to my mind,
And fwirhming in thy gravy,
Not all thy country’s force combin’d,
Shou’d from my tury fave thee.
Renown’d Sir Loin, ofttimes decreed
The theme of Englifh ballad,
E’en kings on thee have joy’d to feed,
Unknown to Frenchman’s palate.
O how much doth thy tafte exceed
Soup-meagre, frogs, and fallad.
Given the rep I suspect I already possess among waitresses, I'd probably do best not to order the steak the next few times I eat out, don't you think?