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Confused re skips and dumpsters.

Posted by Bruce Kahl on September 06, 2002

In Reply to: Confused re skips and dumpsters. posted by TheFallen on September 06, 2002

: : : : : : Yes, but I keep wondering when the outcome of all this phrase-forum conversation we've been having here will be put between covers. This is scholarship we're undertaking here, folks. At this point, years have gone into it.

: : : : : : Sure, there is access to it on the Web (for which I am grateful!!), but a book would be handy. Our little forum here has been the confluence of many minds and also of the substance of many books (in print and out of print). I, for one, would not mind my own contributions being made use of, along with those of others. joel

: : : : : : : :
: : : : : : : : Autumn is almost upon us and because I'm due to be very busy around the holidays, my thoughts have turned to Xmas lists and such.

: : : : : : : : Do any of you know of any recently published material on phrases, interesting words that are worth investing in? Or if there's nothing recent, any good all round reference books? Thanks to Amazon it doesn't matter whether it's published here or in the UK.

: : : : : : : : Thanks,

: : : : : : : : Camel

: : : : : : : I've got a million of 'em.

: : : : : : : A Hog on Ice (1948, Harper & Row) by Charles Earle Funk. This is one in a series of four books (two mostly sayings and two words/phrases) by Mr. Funk. All four are now available in one volume -- 2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings & Expressions from White Elephants to Song Dance, $16.99.
: : : : : : : .
: : : : : : : Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988). $26.60. Words and phrases.

: : : : : : : Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996). Now available in paperback for $13.96. Sayings.

: : : : : : : Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson (Fact on File, New York, 1997) Now available in paperback for $19.96. Words and phrases.

: : : : : : : Listening to America: An Illustrated History of Words and Phrases from Our Lively and Splendid Past by Stuart Berg Flexner (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1982). I picked this one up at a remainder store. I Hear America Talking: An Illustrated History of American Words and Phrases by Stuart Berg Flexner (Von Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1976). I got this one second-hand online. These books are great. They have a little bit of everything.

: : : : : : : Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, A-G by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994. And, of course H-O. $45 per. Although I found Vol. 1 for $10 at the aforementioned remainder store, I paid full price for the second. These volumes cover the waterfront -- phrases and words. UPDATE: I think this series stops at the letter O. There was some sort of disagreement.

: : : : : : : The Dictionary of Cliches by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985). $5.99 paperback. A good little book.

: : : : : These look great. I can tell because I'm getting that book-lust feeling just reading about them!

: : : : I know what you mean. Since Mr. Lighter's series is stalled, I've started collecting another. The Dictionary of American Regional English. Around $90 a volume. I have A-C, which is kind of limiting. I am going to ask for a new volume at every gift-getting season. We have more books than shelves.

: : : At one point just after college, I had no bookshelves, no money and lots of books. I managed to find some reasonable wooden boards in a skip/dumpster and actually constructed a bookcase out of books and boards. Needless to say, this was not very good for the books. And then there were the times when the book I needed was in some strategically important part of the bookshelf... Luckily I eventually moved into a house with shelves. Ahhh youth.

: : A "skip"? Aka a dumpster?
: : Never heard that here in NY.

: Ms. Camel has confessed here before to having lived and worked in the UK for some years. A skip is a British term for a large open-topped metal-sided container, wider at the top than the base, usually used to discard building waste and other rubbish into. It's both delivered and then removed by lorry (truck).

: For some rea son, I've always presumed that dumpsters (the word is not native to the UK) were large garbage bins with lids and wheels found outside the back of restaurants and other commercial premises. They're naturally emptied regularly, but not removed. Skips never have wheels. Am I entirely wrong about dumpsters?

One of my first sales jobs was selling 55 gallon drums of "Dumpster Fresh", a dumpster deodorizer that was "developed specifically to overcome those residual foul odors which often follow your dumpster from location to location...", to owners and transporters of these metal containers.

I think, but can not confirm, that the word "dumpster" is a brand name and has morphed into a description of any type of commercial garbage storage device, with or without wheels.

The original dumpster had no wheels but had slots on its sides where a dump truck could slide its forks into the slots and manuever the dumpster up and over the driver's cab and empty the contents into the back of the dump truck for transport to the local garbage dump.

Now, how could I possibly have remembered that sales pitch from 25 years ago?