Friday, October 23, 2009

Two boys of tender age . . .

. . . who went by the names of Tom and Jack, became members of a district school in a certain New England town. On making their appearance, the teacher called them up before the assembled school, and proceeded to make certain interrogatories concerning their names, ages, &c. “Well, my fine lad,” said the teacher to the first one, “what is your name?” “Tom,” promptly responded the juvenile. “Tom!” said the teacher; “that does not sound well. Remember always to speak the full name. You should have said Thom-as. Now, my son,” turning to the other boy whose expectant face suddenly lighted up with the satisfaction of a newly-comprehended idea, “now, then, you tell me what your name is?” “Jack-ass,” replied the lad, in a tone of confident decision.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 26, 1862, p. 2

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