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Tomato can

Posted by ESC on August 02, 2001

In Reply to: Origin of "tomato can" posted by Alan Kopecki on August 02, 2001

: I would like to know the origin of the expression "tomato can" used to describe a lousy boxer.

I found "tomato can" in the following reference. It means a fighter that throws the fight. But it doesn't really explain it. Do tomato cans sink rapidly?

GO IN THE WATER - "To take a dive, intentionally lose or throw a fight. 'They say he's a tank artist, a tomato can, a guy that goes in the water for a few bucks..' (Pete Hamill, 'Flesh and Blood,' 1977)" From the "New Yawk Tawk" section of the Facts on File Dictionary of American Regionalisms: Local Expressions from Coast to Coast by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 2000).

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