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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: December ::
Re: Ghost Dad-French
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2713  Monday, 3 December 2001

[1]     From:   Dana Shilling <
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        Date:   Friday, 30 Nov 2001 12:16:19 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2705 Re: Ghost Dad-French

[2]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Friday, 30 Nov 2001 17:32:29 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2705 Re: Ghost Dad-French


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Shilling <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 30 Nov 2001 12:16:19 -0500
Subject: 12.2705 Re: Ghost Dad-French
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2705 Re: Ghost Dad-French

Graham Hall asked,

>There is even a bit of Country and Western. All this made
>the phrase "...are you packing..."(3.5.82{Arden})leap out. I recall this
>as an obligatory interrogation by the Sheriff of the Gunslinger in
>countless Westerns. My wife insists that I am confused by the context in
>which I have just heard it and that the phrase was obligatory in
>Gangster movies.  Make your play, pardners! Who's right?

She is, Pilgrim. Cowboys wear their guns right where you can see them,
gangsters carry concealed (except for tommy guns, of course).

Dana Shilling

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
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Date:           Friday, 30 Nov 2001 17:32:29 -0000
Subject: 12.2705 Re: Ghost Dad-French
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2705 Re: Ghost Dad-French

"Packing" in the broad sense of "carrying in any manner" got into print
around 1800, according to OED2. Most of the quotations seem to point to
an American origin, and as they move into the 1880s they are linked with
gold prospecting and the wild west. One speaks of "packing a star",
which obviously would have no place in the Gangster movie context. The
Cymbeleine reference is interesting, isn't it? There does not seem to be
a weapon involved though, and "packing" in this instance is apparently
just "scheming" or "acting suspiciously".

m.

"When a man with a poniard meets a man with a halberd, the man with the
poniard is a dead man" - Clintus ad Orientem, "Pugnus Nummi" (c.1460).
Presumably because he is not "packing" enough "heat".
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