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Pony up

Posted by ESC on October 31, 2002

In Reply to: Origin of the term "Pony up" posted by Bob on October 31, 2002

: variation of the terms "Ante Up", "Fork Over".
: meaning: to Pay, make good on,
: Can anyone help explain the origin of this saying?

PONY UP - "Since the 1800s, 'pony up,' or 'poney up,' has been American slang for 'to pay up.' These words may derive from the German 'poniren,' 'to pay,' but 'pony' was British slang for a small amount of money in the early 19th century, probably because a pony is a small horse (not over 14 hands high), and the term to 'pony up' probably derived from this expression. Other uses of 'pony' to indicate smallness include the 'pony' that is a small glass or bottle of alcohol beverage and the 'pony' meaning a trot or crib - a translation used by students." From the Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).

Then there's "pony keg."

"Jackson": Sung by Johnny Cash with June Carter. Written by Jerry Lieber and Billy Edd-Wheeler.

".But they'll laugh at you in Jackson, and I'll be dancin' on a pony keg.
They'll lead you 'round town like a scalded hound,
With your tail tucked between your legs,
Yeah, go to Jackson, you big-talkin' man.
And I'll be waitin' in Jackson, behind my Jaypan Fan."

Now I'm going to have to find out what a "Jaypan Fan" is.

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