Monday, December 21, 2009


From a telephone conversation I had today with a man talking about a well plowed sidewalk on a hill on the Upper East Side.

I didn't take the exact sentence down but he was saying that walking on a hill covered with snow can be dicey.

The word, according to my Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang and to Eric Partridge and Paul Beale's Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English dates to c. 1940, when American Air Force and Royal Air Force men played games of dice in their off-hours, and subsequently made the connection between gambling and flying a mission.

As it was spoken today, almost two days after a blizzard, there is of course a hint at the ice within.

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