Frogs and Taws
May 19, 2000
In 1928, the first jumping frog contest was held in Calaveras County, California: Those Were the Days, Today in History, May 19
Here's the original Mark Twain tale: The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County - Mark Twain
Here's Twain's commentary on it, including Twain's translation back to English of a French translation:
Private History of the Jumping Frog Story - Mark Twain
And here's some commentary: The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County - A Guide
Square dance relevance? Well, you can break out your frog songs: "Joy to the World" ("Jeremiah was a bullfrog") and "Froggy Went a Courtin'". You could even change the words to "froggy went a jumpin'"
On this day in 1965, Roger Miller received a gold record for "King of the Road".
Have you ever wondered about the term "taw," as in "caller's taw" or "seesaw your (pretty little) taw?" I looked up "taw" in Google and got about 10,400 hits. There's even a taw.com, which takes one to a blank page labeled with "Today's Arizona Woman." "Sae Taw Win" has something to do with Burma, as does "Aw Kaw Taw." On the third page of hits, the square dance term finally came up: The Caller's Taw
I particularly like this one, LINGUIST List 10.242: "saw"~"taw", on why we're more willing to accept "seed" as an admittedly erroneous but still comprehensible past tense of the verb "to see" but not "taw" as an erroneous past tense of the verb "to tee." (Except of course, for Tweety Pie, where "taw" is a past tense of "see", as in "I tawt I taw a puddy tat"). This use of "taw" doesn't show up until page 9 of the Google sites.
TAW also stands for Transgender at Work, Theater Automation Wow, and Total Air War, among other things.
Well, I like the transgender one, so now when a caller uses "taw," I'll know s/he's just talking about working tg's.