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  #51  
Old 10-09-2019, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
There is no one approximate date. When I first moved here it could be any time from late September to midNovember.
Exactly! That's why Spanish has multiple names, ranging from early September from late November! You can have multiple little summers in one year.
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  #52  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I can see why somebody who's never run into the term before might think it means "summer in India". But what you've missed is that the term does mean something specific, and it's not at all the meaning you're trying to assign to it. Again, "Indian summer" is a brief warm spell that occurs after the first frost in fall, but before full winter sets in. It's entirely inapplicable to any climate that either doesn't have frost at all, or has winter temperatures involving only occasional frost instead of long periods during which the temperatures rarely rise much above freezing point. I have never heard it used to refer to heading south in the fall; that's just plain not what it means. (The term for that, at least around here, is "snowbird"; though I don't think there's exactly a verb form -- one would say 'they're snowbirds', not 'they're snowbirding'; I don't think I've ever heard somebody say 'snowbirding' as a verb).
No-one was suggesting "Indian summer" is used as a verb either. And I do understand the term. It seems to me perfectly logical to say, on the arrival of a spell of unexpected warm weather following the first frost of autumn, "Oh, we're having an Indian summer", with the meaning being that the temperature in England is surprisingly somewhat similar to what it might be in India at that time. And that's not something I've invented all by myself, evidently other British people think the same way. It just happens that we're wrong about the origin, that's all.
  #53  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:54 AM
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It seems to me perfectly logical to say, on the arrival of a spell of unexpected warm weather following the first frost of autumn, "Oh, we're having an Indian summer", with the meaning being that the temperature in England is surprisingly somewhat similar to what it might be in India at that time. And that's not something I've invented all by myself, evidently other British people think the same way. It just happens that we're wrong about the origin, that's all.
That may look perfectly logical to British people. It's not logical at all to people in the Western Hemisphere, for whom going south (or north) for warmer weather doesn't imply India at all.

And it's not a spell of unexpected or surprising warm weather. It is generally expected and not surprising, though there's an occasional year in which it doesn't happen.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:34 PM
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I think we are violently agreeing with each other. As you say, you are describing the situation in North America, I am describing the situation in Britain, where warm weather in September or October is often referred to as an Indian Summer because it is relatively unexpected, and indeed it would often be before the first frost. I'm not much of a gardener or meteorologist, but in most of Britain I believe it would be almost unheard of for there to be a sustained spell of warm days after the first real frost.

I am not disputing that the first use of the term was likely as you describe, just that I suspect it's not most British people's understanding of it, due to the different prevailing climatic conditions.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:57 PM
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Dead Cat: Oh, OK, I think I've got it: you're not saying you know what the term means over here, you're saying that it means something different over there. What's that line about two countries divided by a common language?


-- Nava, the thing is, I don't think it works so well to call it 'mid-October little summer' or 'late October little summer' or 'early November little summer' or 'mid-November little summer' or whatever depending on when it happens in a given year. That does sound OK with saints' names; but I don't think it works with approximate dates.
  #56  
Old 10-09-2019, 03:22 PM
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Oh, Europeans were known for giving, all right. It’s not so much that they gave as what they gave: blankets lousy with smallpox. It was straight-up genocide via biological warfare.

Reading through this thread, I see that poxy blankets are not what the phrase “Indian giver” refers to. But European settlers definitely had their own history of malevolent gifts.
You know this is GQ, right? The smallpox blanket story is, if not completely debunked, at most attested to as a hypothetical conversation. There was never any need for Europeans to intentionally spread smallpox amongst the natives, because incidental contact spread it just fine. European genocide of natives was always much more straightforward in presentation, without the sneaky depravity of the smallpox blanket routine.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:35 PM
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Dead Cat: Oh, OK, I think I've got it: you're not saying you know what the term means over here, you're saying that it means something different over there. What's that line about two countries divided by a common language?
Exactly. I wasn't aware of the subtly different American meaning until this thread. So, ignorance fought, as usual.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:38 PM
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You know this is GQ, right? The smallpox blanket story is, if not completely debunked, at most attested to as a hypothetical conversation. There was never any need for Europeans to intentionally spread smallpox amongst the natives, because incidental contact spread it just fine. European genocide of natives was always much more straightforward in presentation, without the sneaky depravity of the smallpox blanket routine.
There was one documented case of Europeans deliberately spreading smallpox among Indians: Siege of Fort Pitt
  #59  
Old 10-10-2019, 10:56 AM
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ignorance fought, as usual.
Mine too! Thanks.
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:19 AM
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...

The idea that Indians were given smallpox blankets is more a trope than anything. It appears to have been suggested and attempted only one time when Chief Pontiac was besieging Fort Pitt. Apparently one group of Indians were given a few blankets from the smallpox ward. Its unclear whether this worked or whether the natives already had smallpox.
https://www.history.com/news/colonis...llpox-blankets

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There was one documented case of Europeans deliberately spreading smallpox among Indians: Siege of Fort Pitt
I'm glad we agree.

But the article points out smallpox had broken out in the area, it's debateable whether the attempt was the cause (Since obviously letters were going back and forth from the fort to the general, so there must have been some traffic going through the besieging Indian lines.)

it's one of these things where someone pondered it, someone else did an unauthorized attempt, and the trope has become that it was a widespread official practice for centuries.
  #61  
Old 10-10-2019, 11:23 AM
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... in most of Britain I believe it would be almost unheard of for there to be a sustained spell of warm days ...
Is this what you were really trying to say?
  #62  
Old 10-10-2019, 12:22 PM
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I thought the point of selectively quoting was to make it seem like the writer wrote something they didn't intend?

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Old 10-10-2019, 02:29 PM
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"Indian giver" was still a relatively common term in Florida in the late 1990s when I was in high school, as I learned it there for the first time after moving from the UK. Funnily enough, none of those sources really seemed to agree on what it meant either.
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  #64  
Old 10-10-2019, 02:57 PM
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I thought the point of selectively quoting was to make it seem like the writer wrote something they didn't intend?

Or to make the quote more accurate?

To quote the Two Ronnies - "I'm from the third world - Yorkshire".


Growing up in Canada (and heavily exposed to American culture) even in the 1960's Indian giver specifically meant someone who demanded their gift back. It was explained at the time that Indians gave gifts and expected more as a reciprocal gift (whether this is true or not) but somehow had morphed into "gimme back that thing I gave you". There was no doubt it was pejorative to Indians; but then on a trip to Florida in 1963 I encountered bathrooms labelled "Whites Only" so I assume back then a sideswipe at natives was low on the list of insults people were sensitive about.
  #65  
Old 10-10-2019, 03:29 PM
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Less than 50 years ago even. I was born in 1980 and it was certainly used in the 80's and 90's.....A few years ago the Walking Dead got slammed for saying "eenie meenie miney moe" because the original version of that contained the n-word. Again, I'm guessing a lot of people would have no idea.
Yeah, I was born in the early 1970s and as kids my friends and I would always wonder why adults would often look at you funny when you said “catch a tiger by the toe.”
  #66  
Old 10-11-2019, 01:08 AM
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Yeah, I was born in the early 1970s and as kids my friends and I would always wonder why adults would often look at you funny when you said “catch a tiger by the toe.”
There was a flight attendant on Southwest who was driven to tears when she used a rhyme - "eneey, meeny, miney, moe, grab a seat so we can go..." Someone called her out for a racist rhyme and she had no clue it had anything racist about it - and I presume that goes for well over half the population.

I heard the rhyme as a kid in the 1960's in Canada, and even then it was "...catch a tiger by the toe." from my parents who came over from Britain. I think I was quit a bit older before I heard the rude version.

I may be wrong, but the n-word is a corruption of southern USA speech - AFAIK the word was not common in Britain either as a descriptor or an insult. (If you listen to "I have A Dream", even MLK pronounces "negro" more like "nigrah" so it's not difficult to see how that regional accent could morph the word into other variants that could become insulting. But I never heard it used commonly in Canada until it became prominent because of the publicity around the civil rights campaigns of the mid to late 60s.)

The British had their own racist insults, as anyone who grew up with Noddy books would know.
  #67  
Old 10-11-2019, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
There was a flight attendant on Southwest who was driven to tears when she used a rhyme - "eneey, meeny, miney, moe, grab a seat so we can go..." Someone called her out for a racist rhyme and she had no clue it had anything racist about it - and I presume that goes for well over half the population.
I think that's ridiculous oversensitivity on the part of those complaining - just because the original words of the rhyme are racist, doesn't mean it can't be modified and still used appropriately. Especially in this case where the entire second line has been changed.

Similarly, while it seems clear that "Indian giver" is likely to cause offence, I don't think the same is true at all of "Indian summer", when the origin was most likely not pejorative at all.
  #68  
Old 10-11-2019, 10:25 AM
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I heard the rhyme as a kid in the 1960's in Canada, and even then it was "...catch a tiger by the toe."
Ditto in New York State in the 1950's and 60's. I didn't know about the other version until much later; and then not from anyone using it, but from reading a reference to the Agatha Christie title modifications.

Probably depended a good bit on where you were, and to some extent on who you hung out with.

Last edited by thorny locust; 10-11-2019 at 10:26 AM. Reason: typo
  #69  
Old 10-11-2019, 04:24 PM
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I think that's ridiculous oversensitivity on the part of those complaining - just because the original words of the rhyme are racist, doesn't mean it can't be modified and still used appropriately.
Welcome to 21st century America.
  #70  
Old 10-16-2019, 01:26 PM
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Governor Andrew Cuomo gets into hot water for repeating a quote with the "n word

And let's never forget putting Mark Furman on trial for using that word which is better than letting a double murderer who sliced up two people (the mother of his two children and an innocent bystander) like sides of beef and escaped justice.

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 10-16-2019 at 01:27 PM.
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