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BS: welshing

mkebenn 27 Jul 16 - 10:18 AM
Manitas_at_home 27 Jul 16 - 10:50 AM
Mrrzy 27 Jul 16 - 11:37 AM
mkebenn 27 Jul 16 - 12:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jul 16 - 12:10 PM
mkebenn 27 Jul 16 - 01:32 PM
Joe Offer 27 Jul 16 - 01:51 PM
michaelr 27 Jul 16 - 03:20 PM
Joe Offer 27 Jul 16 - 03:38 PM
robomatic 27 Jul 16 - 04:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jul 16 - 04:53 PM
Ed. 27 Jul 16 - 05:13 PM
Mrrzy 27 Jul 16 - 05:29 PM
Megan L 28 Jul 16 - 12:55 AM
Backwoodsman 28 Jul 16 - 02:40 AM
Joe Offer 28 Jul 16 - 02:46 AM
Backwoodsman 28 Jul 16 - 03:22 AM
Mr Red 28 Jul 16 - 04:28 AM
Mr Red 28 Jul 16 - 04:33 AM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jul 16 - 06:29 AM
mkebenn 28 Jul 16 - 08:44 AM
Rumncoke 28 Jul 16 - 11:37 AM
Senoufou 28 Jul 16 - 01:42 PM
ripov 28 Jul 16 - 03:44 PM
ripov 28 Jul 16 - 03:50 PM
Senoufou 28 Jul 16 - 05:05 PM
Jim McLean 29 Jul 16 - 01:41 PM
terrier 29 Jul 16 - 01:47 PM

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Subject: BS: welshing
From: mkebenn
Date: 27 Jul 16 - 10:18 AM

I realized I have no idea where this expression came from. Is it an ethnic slur like "jewing some one down" and if so, why? The latter seems to mean negotiation, while the former not paying on a lost bet. Just curious. Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 27 Jul 16 - 10:50 AM

Perhaps from the rhyme "Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief.." but another suggestion is that English bookmakers were in the habit of crossing into Wales to avoid paying out debts.


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Jul 16 - 11:37 AM

I assume it's an ethnic slur but the origin is still interesting... for instance, only certain areas/people use "jew" to mean "bargain" - I heard a friend say it about Judas in The Passion, I think it was. He called it jewing and I was like, you mean, bargaining?

But welshing is specific - that is, can one welsh on anything *other* than a bet? There are other things not paid/done when they should be, one doesn't "welsh" on, say, a debt racked up at the gym, does one? Even if it's never paid?


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: mkebenn
Date: 27 Jul 16 - 12:07 PM

No, I think it's wager related only I like the English bookie thing, sounds like balladry to me. Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jul 16 - 12:10 PM

It's an ethnic slur all right. The significance of ethnic slurs depends very much on a range of factors. Where an ethnic group is subject to discrimination and persecution, these are clearly particularly significant. Where an ethnic group is seen positively and not liable to persecution they matter much less, if indeed at all.

And these things vary over time and place.

I've never heard any suggestion that Welsh people are particularly liable to welsh on a debt - it's not part of the kind of stereotype that even people who might be prejudiced against Welshness are liable to hold.

I think it would be possible to accuse someone of welshing on a promise in general, as an extension of the particular kind of promise involved with a bet.


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: mkebenn
Date: 27 Jul 16 - 01:32 PM

That's why I am confused, I understood the Jewish slur as ignorant greeneyed feelings of the "have not's", but this makes no sense. Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jul 16 - 01:51 PM

In American usage, "welch" seems to be the more common word meaning to renege on a bet; while "Welsh" refers to the people or their ethnicity. Here's a link that will entertain you for hours:


-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: michaelr
Date: 27 Jul 16 - 03:20 PM

I like this from the site Joe linked to above:

This is in AJP Taylor's excellent school history books. He notes that the very first man to "Plead the Gaming Act" and refuse to pay a bet because betting had been made illegal, was Mr Welch, hence refusing to pay became known as Welching on a bet.

Nothing whatsoever to do with the differently spelt Welsh.


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jul 16 - 03:38 PM

But then, while "welching on a bet" may not have had a connection to the People of Wales at its origin, the connection may have built over time - to the point where some really fussy Welsh people may be offended by the term. No doubt, it has no connection to the makers of Welch's Grape Jelly, though.

I've heard that some people take offense at the use of the word "niggardly" or the phrase "call a spade a spade."

Ya can't win. There are too many really fussy people in this world.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: robomatic
Date: 27 Jul 16 - 04:37 PM

People are people. "niggardly" is on the surface a perfectly acceptable word but it suffers from being a word that is not used very often and when spoken without clear enunciation sounds like the 'N' word. I don't consider it offensive but I can understand how it might jar on the ears. I once quite innocently referred to someone as a "decent chap" and what one of my listeners heard was 'jap'.

I suspect that when younger I used the word 'welch' when I infrequently had need of the meaning. I never associated it with the 'Welsh' but since I learned it might be an ethnic slur I have not used it.

I would like to be able to replace the term "Indian giver" since it occurs in a Gordon Bok song that is otherwise quite moving.

I haven't refrained from using the term 'English' when referring to pool.

I've been known to refer to 'anglo'-ing somebody because I'm Jewish.


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jul 16 - 04:53 PM

My feeling is that, where genuine discrimination and hostility are not involved, we ought to be relatively relaxed about this kind of thing.

I had a mate who was always called "Cream" because he came from Devon. Should he have found that offensive? He didn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Ed.
Date: 27 Jul 16 - 05:13 PM

I rarely bother to log in these days, but I'd certainly agree with Joe and McGrath.

I once quite innocently referred to someone as a "decent chap" and what one of my listeners heard was 'jap'.

If you don't use certain words because something might be misinterpreted then you may as well never speak or write again.

A ridiculously stupid conclusion.


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Jul 16 - 05:29 PM

Aha, as a kid I heard "welch" but thought I had misheard it. The origin as Mr. Welch pleading out getting turned into welsh makes an awful lot of sense. Taffy may have been a thief, but not a welcher.

When I first heard the stereotype of the Jewish American Princess I thought people were being insulting to the Japanese, since I didn't know what JAP stood for, but I *did* know some women, whom I hadn't noticed were Jewish and wouldn't have cared if I had, were annoying...


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Megan L
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 12:55 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 02:40 AM

Enlighten me, what does JAP stand for (other than a contraction of 'Japanese').

On the thread topic, at school in the '60s I was taught that 'Welch' and 'Welsh' are not synonymous - 'Welch' meaning to renege on a deal, and 'Welsh' meaning a native of Wales. Different pronunciation, completely different words, and that's how I've used them this past 50+ years. Worked fine for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 02:46 AM

JAP: Jewish American Princess. We had a manager at work who had the reputation for being a JAP, and some people discounted her for that. But she was brilliant and very practical, and one of the nicest managers we had. She was a joy to work for.

Stereotypes don't tell the whole story.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 03:22 AM

Thanks Joe, never heard that expression before.

I've grown up and lived most of my life in a small rural community in England, and I guess a lot of the negativity that accompanies people's judgments regarding the ethnicity and religion of others has passed me by. I'm glad about that.


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Mr Red
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 04:28 AM

I thought a Jewish American Princess was a subset &/or specific case of "Prima Donna".
I still do.


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Mr Red
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 04:33 AM

FWIW I knew welching as pronounced with with the explosive ch not the sibilant sh

A J P Taylor's sounds like the correct derivation on that score, for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 06:29 AM

Maybe AJP Taylor was correct in his derivativion, but I wouldn't bet on it. Remember, this was the historian who "authenticated" the forged Hitler Diaries.

Even if there was a Mr Welch who defaulted on a gambling debt, that wouldn't necessarily mean the word wasn't in use already, derived from the Taffy was a thief stereotype.

I've never come across the word written as welch.


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: mkebenn
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 08:44 AM

Thank you all, and I thought Welch was a producer of grape jam. It makes sense now. Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Rumncoke
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 11:37 AM

I wonder how close to true the Cadfael stories are - there are a couple of mentions in them that English law did not hold in the Princedom of Wales.

Various plots arise where people escape over the boarder, visitors to Wales were reminded that their authority did not hold there, and there was one case where a Welsh family living in England was affected by the different laws of inheritance in the different countries.

I'm my own lifetime I've experienced Welsh licencing laws being rather novel, when a pub could be open on a Sunday, but not a village shop - not a problem, you take what you want to buy and leave the money in a box on the counter whilst the owner reads the paper or does some knitting and tells you the prices as you pick up the items.


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Senoufou
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 01:42 PM

The Cadfael stories by Ellis Peters are very well-researched, and her historical references are spot-on. I've read every book many times (bit of an addict) Inheritance was allowed even by an illegitimate offspring if the father acknowledged him/her, which didn't pertain in England. But there was much trading between Wales and England, particularly wool. And many Welsh speakers along the border also spoke English. English miscreants and fugitives could be safe from the Law if they fled to Wales. (The books are set in the 12th Century)

I seem to remember in the Cosher Bailey song there's a line,
"If you want a drink on Sunday
You'll just have to wait 'til Monday..." so I wonder if pubs did in fact open on the Sabbath?


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: ripov
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 03:44 PM

Remember that in earlier times 'welsh' had a much broader meaning than just 'them from over Offa's Dyke'. It basically meant foreign; and, at least until recently, and outside of big towns, 'foreign parts' meant anywhere past the next village up the road.
I agree regarding the percieved difference between 'welsh' and 'welch' but I would suspect this is victorian pedantry. Using spelling to derive the etymology of words that were in use in days when most people couldn't write, and if they could, had no concept of conventional spelling (those in their 40s and 50s now, taught ITA (a phonetic alphabet), where the sounds available had no relation to spoken english, may have felt themselves in a similar situation), seems a pointless exercise.


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: ripov
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 03:50 PM

>Senoufou

In Scotland in the fifties pubs were only allowed serve 'bona fide' travellers on Sundays. In consequence my uncle and his mates had to get a bus to the next village to get a drink, as he local hostelries wouldn't serve them. Whether Saturday, or Sunday, is the Sabbath is a whole different can of worms!


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Senoufou
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 05:05 PM

You're quite right ripov; I went to Edinburgh Uni (early sixties) and only hotels sold alcohol on Sundays, not the pubs. The idea was that people were 'passing through' and used the hotels for 'refreshment', so were permitted to purchase a drink. Nobody checked or even cared that we were obviously local students (even wearing our University scarves!). It was all very sedate however, just a half of McEwans heavy.


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: Jim McLean
Date: 29 Jul 16 - 01:41 PM

Obviously a slight digression .... I come from Paisley, west of Scotland, and the "bona fide" rule applied on Sundays. We used to go "up the Braes" to The Paraffin Lamp" in Lugton and sign in as "Micky Mouse" or any other false name which was accepted! On the road back you could see cars with by cycles sticking out of the boot where cyclists to the pub were being given a lift home!


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Subject: RE: BS: welshing
From: terrier
Date: 29 Jul 16 - 01:47 PM

There wasn't always Sunday drinking in Wales.
Wiki:
[ The Sunday Closing (Wales) Act 1881 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was one of the Licensing Acts 1828 to 1886.[1] It required the closure of all public houses in Wales on Sundays. The Act had considerable political importance as a formal acknowledgement of the separate character of Wales, setting a precedent for future legislation and decisions. It was repealed in 1961.]

I think it was around 2003 before all pubs in Wales opened for alcohol consumption. I believe in Ireland, the pubs close for one hour a day to wash the glasses ;)

I've never heard of 'welshing', but welching (on a bet) is common enough.


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