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Walking in tall cotton

Posted by Graham Cambray on January 14, 2009 at 13:27

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 separate and different derivation too - as it has a separate and different meaning. The blues singer Eric Bibb performs a song with this title, and the phrase is used in the sense "unable to get one's 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 much influenced by baseball commentators in Ohio or New York. Graham C.