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American Speech 75.2 (2000) 184-198

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Among the New Words

Wayne Glowka*, Brenda K. Lester*, Rachel Duggan-Caputo*, Jeff Drye*, and Barry Popik**

The following completes the treatment of sports and sports-related terms begun in the last issue of American Speech (75: 69-82). Wakeboard and its forms appeared in this column before (72: 196-97), but we offer earlier and later citations here.

mailbox baseball n Adolescent diversion involving the smashing of roadside mailboxes with a baseball bat from a moving automobile 1988 Jan 11 Kevin E Washington St Petersburg Times 3 (Lexis-Nexis) With bat in hand and traveling at 30 mph, the rider takes a swing. The result is an ear-shattering "thwack," and another mailbox goes flying. The game is "mailbox baseball"--one of several vicious games pranksters play in rural and suburban communities hundreds of times a year in northwest Hillsborough County. 1994 June 8 Doreen Iudica Vigue Boston Globe 27 (Lexis-Nexis) "Mailbox baseball" is a pervasive prank among restless youths in rural and suburban communities statewide, inflicting thousands of dollars in damage to roadside mailboxes, frustrating police and homeowners. 1998 Aug 13 Harrisburg (Pa) Patriot-News B5/6 Mailbox Baseball: State troopers are investigating a rash of mailbox vandalism throughout Middle Paxton [Township].

McGwire Special n Baseball with coded identifying marks to ensure its authenticity if hit by record-breaking home-run hitter Mark McGwire 1997 Jan 17 Andrew Linker Harrisburg (Pa) Patriot-News C11/3 Like every other pitcher during the season's final weeks, [pitcher Kirk] Bullinger was forced to pitch to [Mark] McGwire with a specially coded ball. [¶] "I make eight warm-up pitches with one baseball and, as soon as my eight pitches are up, they throw out that ball, and they give me a McGwire Special. Now I have to pitch with a baseball I haven't thrown yet," Bullinger said.

McSports n, pl Sports played in highly artificial surroundings 1997 June 28 Scott Ostler San Francisco Chronicle D1 (Popik) Having temporarily escaped the land of McSports--games played under domes, on plastic grass, on cement courts, under lights, accompanied by relentless music and cornball mascots and maniacal PA screamers--I am wonderfully equipped to appreciate the beauty of Wimbledon. [End Page 184]

mean streets; Mean Street n Urban ghetto 1973 Martin Scorsese Mean Streets [film about urban violence] 1993 July 5 Bill Robinson Atlanta Journal-Constitution B2 (Lexis-Nexis; head) Bullets remind college students of mean streets they left behind: 2 athletes hit by stray shots outside Decatur nightclub 1999 Mar 18 Randy Galloway Harrisburg (Pa) Patriot-News C2/2 Just use them for athletic purposes, and then throw them back on Mean Street, never to be heard from again.

Minnesota Chrome n High-quality duct tape used on race cars; 200-MPH TAPE 1995 Jan 28 Quot sv 200-MPH TAPE

NBA initialism [No Baskets Anymore] Less-than-stellar performance by basketball players when games resumed after a lengthy National Basketball Association lockout 1999 Feb 24 Bill Lyon Harrisburg (Pa) Patriot-News C2/2 The NBA: No Baskets Anymore. [¶] We waited through a lockout for this shabby, inferior product? [¶] The 76ers can't even equal their name. They scored only 67 points against New York, and you thought surely they'll improve on that.

Nightona n [night + Daytona] Nighttime stock-car race in Daytona, Fla. 1987 Aug 8 Los Angeles Times 19 (Popik) 1998 June 9 Augusta Chronicle C01 (Popik) July 2 John Sturbin Fort Worth Star-Telegram Sports 9 (Lexis-Nexis; head) MOTORSPORTS REPORT; Plate racing at 'Nightona' promises fireworks Oct 19 Larry Guest Harrisburg (Pa) Patriot-News C2/2 (Orlando Sentinel) Until Saturday night's inaugural running of the Nocturnal 400 (aka Pepsi 400) under a million-dollar installation of new high-tech lights, the scholars of good-ol'-boy racing could only take a guess as to how Nightona would differ from Daytona.

nonfan n Person with no interest in sports 1984 Aug 6 Washington Post (Popik) 1986 June 4 Robert...


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pp. 184-198
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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Archived 2005
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