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Re: Toe jam

Posted by Smokey Stover on May 28, 2008 at 20:20

In Reply to: Re: Toe jam posted by R. Berg on May 28, 2008 at 19:02:

: : : Where did the phrase "toe jams" come from? I know what it means.

: : If you know what toe jam means, I needn't tell you that it is the dirt that collects between your toes, and can develop an unpleasant odor. But some others may be curious.

: : The Oxford English Dictionary cites, as its earliest example, a quotation from 1934, by Roy Campbell, s South African poet who lived extensively in England, in a book of memoirs ("Broken Record").

: Between toes? I understood "toe jam" as the dirt, plus sloughed-off skin cells and whatever else is there, that collects under the edges of toenails. Dirt between toes is easily washed off. That other stuff is more persistent. ~rb

There seems to be a consensus among Google sources that it's a between-toe thing. However, this very eloquent little phrase has been taken over for many other uses. There's a telephone-answering machine, for instance, named Toe Jam by its inventor. THere's a maneuver used by roller skaters called the toe jam, using just the front wheels. There's an organization devoted, apparently to clog dancing, which has this to say about one of its conventions:

"The 300+ attendees at Double Toe Jam '06 will agree you will experience a workshop like no other, where every measure has been taken to ensure you encounter the most unique and innovative workshop ever assembled!

"Make plans NOW to attend and become a part of this exciting clogging event!"

Who knew?
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