Re: RARA-AVIS: Dash / Peter
03 Apr 99 09:10:00 -0500
Re Bill's post:

"If I recall accurately (a decreasingly likely happening), Ellery
Queen once wrote that in the late 1800s 'Peter Collins' was criminal
slang for 'nobody.' So 'Peter Collinson' would be 'nobody's son.'"

Your memory is correct. Hammett used the "Collins" colloquialism
again in *Red Harvest* when he has a hood who's just been badly gut
shot say something along the lines of "'I've got no more belly left
than Peter Collins.'" Both a colorful use of the expression and a hat
tip to his old pseudonym. - Jim Doherty

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