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Walking in tall cotton

Posted by Graham Cambray on January 14, 2009 at 13:20

In Reply to: Walking in tall cotton posted by Joe on January 04, 2009 at 17:52:

: : Where does the phrase, "walking in tall cotton" come from?

: It just does not exist before this famed announcer:


: Barber, born in Columbus, Miss., in 1908, started his major-league broadcasting career with the Cincinnati Reds in 1934, and lasted there until 1939, when he began broadcasting for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

: Barber was a New York Yankees broadcaster from 1954-66. He spent time as an author and newspaper columnist before beginning weekly spots on National Public Radio in 1981. --------------------------------------------------------------- Barber-isms

: "Sitting in the catbird seat" (being in an enviable or favorable position).

: "Walking in tall cotton" (having things go well).

: "Rhubarb" (an argument or heated discussion).

: "Tearing up the pea patch" (giving a strong performance, rallying).

: "The bases are F.O.B." ("full of Brooklyns," as in "the bases are loaded with Brooklyn Dodgers").

The phrase may have a second and separate derivation, as it also has a different meaning. The US Blues singer Eric Bibb performs a song with this title, and the phrase is used in the sense "unable to get your bearings" - just a simple metaphor, really. Bibb is a black singer from the South of the US (as was his father before him), and is perhaps unlikely to have been signally influenced by baseball jargon.